Leadership and Leaders
Who is your example for good leadership ?
Let’s pretend an organisation is a group of people working through a jungle. You have workers cutting their way through the jungle and managers standing just behind them to make sure everything works accordingly. Leadership is about: 1. Climbing the highest tree 2. Looking around 3. shouting back: “we’re in the wrong jungle!”
— Stephen Covey in the 7 habits of highly effective people
- Leadership needs time and attention to see the whole picture (climbing the tree)
- Leadership means decision making about what is right (looking around)
- Leadership is communicating your viewpoint(s) (shouting back)
- Managers are essential to do the work right and are all about: efficiency, workers motivation, tools, schedules and interactions between fellow workers. Success to a manager is ‘moving one meter further in the jungle’
- Leadership is essential to do the right work and are all about vision, overview, direction, intuition, ethics and connection with the group. Success for a leader is working in the right jungle together
- Leadership is not limited to a formal position, but a choice anyone in the group can make; anybody can climb a tree, look around and start shouting
- People who have a formal position of leadership are often the managers; worried about whether everybody does their work right
- Workers are often the leaders: seeing what is happening, forming an opinion about it and take action accordingly.
I believe the structure and culture of organisations should support everybody to show their leadership. Where the role of formal leaders is to enable others to show their leadership.
- Do you have the attention/time/space to climb a tree?
- Where do your ideas of “the right jungle” come from?
- How effective is your communicating of your ideas?
- How does your example of a good leader fit into this metaphor? In which of the three steps does he/she/it excels?
- In what area of your life should you climb a tree?
The end of leaders. The start of leadership.
More of this in 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey.