Leadership is both art and science. It means it is unique to that person yet it can be learned methodically from one person to another. My journey to learn about leadership is about the same, i saw what my leaders do and i follow. I practice the good ones and congruent with my own values that i appreciate. In the process i also learn to let go some leadership characteristics that i found later to be excessively manipulative and with prejudice. Besides, through reading and observing how other leaders and followers interacting, i learn a great deal as well.
Now, i have learn to form up my own leadership characteristics and styles that i call Leadership Beliefs. There are eight of them, i have to do a deep thinking to really extract out these beliefs. It is deep seated inside me and direct the way i react to situations in my own life and see the world. When i apply them it looks natural to me, nevertheless i do hope to refine them over time. The reason i do this is to codify these beliefs so i can remember during challenging assignments and projects. Nothing beats writing it down and drill it into the mind!
1) Powerful conversation can change life
I always look for different and powerful conversations in my life. I had a number of them although not many people are open for it. Powerful conversation makes you think and usually push you to greater heights.
2) Have a vision, it’s very important
Simple statement that we call vision can help you believe in what you do in trying times. Without, i find myself go with the flow then drown in the “busy-ness” of day-to-day things.
3) Develop people and yourself
It is easy to give someone opportunity, however to provide enough support to make that someone successful or excel a different matter altogether. Often, as leaders the opportunity we give is work in disguise but we also need to relentlessly ensure the work gets done. I am in the opinion that only with sheer commitment to develop ownself can a leader gives more to develop others.
4) Do leap when behind
Sometimes, I get assignment that is spiralling down and waiting to go bust. When this happens, i dont wait or go by the books. I push things and step on some people toes along the way. Some people like to see something to fail and you happen to be there. The goal is to make the leap, because playing catch up not going to make it.
5) Free up knowledge
This is my life tagline. I am not a fountain of knowledge (too strong a word to describe me) but i know i have something extra. A lot of knowledge is either too deep in someone’s brain or the organization’s bureaucracy, it is wasteful and a sin to let this continue. Knowledge comes power and we can make a difference in the market place.
6) Think big, start small
You probably noticed my blog’s tagline carries this. I love to dream about something big, and i also have learned the hardship to do something big. Thus, i believe starting small would allow room for improvement and creativity. During the small stage, i usually spend a lot of time experimenting and testing hypotheses. The moment its ready, scaling up would just about adding resources. This belief also lead me to introduce significant innovation in products and processes throughout my career.
7) Be situationally pragmatic
Dealing with many people from different levels and in many situations demand great communication skills. While some leaders suavely good at this, i tend to stumble. I used to get carried away when i had conflicts with co-workers and colleagues. Surprisingly, i had very few problems with my leaders/bosses. The rule of thumb is to relentless be honest and pragmatic. As the equilibrium point moves, so does your pragmatism.
8) Stay hungry, stay foolish
I borrow this from Steve Jobs. I even wrote something about it in this blog, read here. I suggest you read from that post. Another learning from this belief is to run my own race. Sometimes when things dont go my way, i get entagled with perception trap about how the grass is greener on the other side ( it’s always had right!). So, when that happen i have to realize quickly that my time will come and i just have to be patience with my mind and hands open.
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