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An Expanded View of Leadership - Miruspoint Facilitators

leadershipWe believe that each of us, individually and in collaboration with others, can create ourselves as a leader. Because leaders are always originals, never copies, their learning styles vary. Each person has to find his own way to express his leadership qualities. Thus, no single course will suffice for all leaders.

— Bennis, Warren and Joan Goldsmith
Learning to Lead: A Workbook on Becoming a Leader (2003)

The intention of this series of articles is to inspire and unleash leadership. Towards that end, I have discovered that many people have a narrow definition of leadership, involving being in a position of power and leading others. I believe it’s essential to broaden this definition. In reviewing various definitions of leadership, I came across an article that offered 10 ideas that business owners, leaders and entrepreneurs use when referring to leadership. In the spirit of either stepping into leadership, or expanding your comfort with being a leader it’s great to take stock of where you’re starting from. Let’s do a little exercise:

Take out a piece of paper and write the numbers 1-10 down the left hand side. Read the statements below, and for each, personally evaluate the degree to which you embody these leadership qualities, using the following 0-10 scale:

(Not at all)   0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10   (Most of the time)

  1. Leadership is inspiring others to greatness every day
  2. Ultimately leadership is about trust
  3. Leadership is about taking a stand
  4. Leaders challenge the status quo, rather than simply accepting it
  5. The most effective leaders do not rely on their title or positional power to lead. Rather, their ability to use their own personal power and skills to influence, is what makes them effective
  6. Leadership is influencing others by your character, humility and example
  7. Leaders investigate reality, versus accepting it carte blanche
  8. Leaders maintain a long-range perspective and keep their eyes on the horizon
  9. Leadership is the ability to inspire motivation in others to move toward a desirable vision
  10. Leaders focus on “what and why,” rather than “how and when”

Your score, out of 100, gives you some useful data. What was your lowest number? What area do you feel needs most improvement?

For this coming week, try holding one statement as a focal point, or “touchstone,” throughout your day. Using number 10 as an example, say “Leaders focus on ‘what and why.'” Say this over several times, really savouring the words, and allowing them to sink in. Then add all the ways and situations this could impact what you do. For example, each day reminding myself  to focus on “what is important, and why it matters” will keep me from getting mired in all the details of “how and when.”

“Your mission then, should you choose to accept it, is to think, act and be the leader you are meant to be!” 

I’ve love to hear about what you think. Leave a comment below, share this article using your favorite social media platform, and let’s be in conversation together! A big thanks to everyone who has commented already… keep ’em coming!