Effective Leadership: 3+1=4 It is
In a previous post I was contemplating about whether DELIVERY becomes a part of my definition of effective leadership. It does as it has to. For, how can you be an effective leader without delivering results?! You can’t. At the end of the day you have to deliver.
Hence, delivering results is both a prerequisite and an outcome of effective leadership. The effective leader ensures delivery while incorporating the first 3 key characteristics of leadership: defining vision, nurturing collaboration, promoting learning.
All four rules are important and critical for an effective leader to follow. However, if I have to choose the most important element in effective leadership it is the first one: Defining vision. Without this element, no person can acclaim to be an effective leader. A vision gives a direction, though not necessarily directives. It paves the way to success, to delivery. Alas, an effective leader is nothing without a functioning team. This is why nurturing collaboration is so important. Team building is both an art and a necessity without which no project leader can succeed. Last but not least, we live in a complex and ever changing world. We need to reflect our actions, learn from our mistakes and move to the next level. An effective leader ensures and helps build an honest, sincere and productive learning environment. This is an environment where it is ok to make mistakes – as long as we learn from them („Never make a mistake more than twice, though.“). Making mistakes must not be punished or used against the person who committed it. If we are on a project the complete team should learn from individual and team mistakes. This is what it can make the stream strong, help yield synergy effects.
What about constellations which are not „projects“? The same rules apply to any organization there is. And why should it be any different!? An organization without a vision, without set goals, direction dies. It loses the legitimacy to exist and will cease, sooner or later. Entropy at its best, so to say. For an organization to prosper and mature it needs to guarantee effective collaboration. Learning is equally important. Stagnation in today’s business world and economy leads to loss and failure. Those companies which manage to re-invent themselves, develop new ideas, nuture and embrace innovation will survice and succeed. That is, if and only if, they also manage to deliver the right results which bring us back to the first element of effective leadership: vision. The results have to be in sync, have to be in line with the vision. If this is not the case the organization is inherently incoherent and lacks direction.
This brings me to the conclusion that if we illustrated the first 3 elements of effective leadership as a triangle with Vision at the top, Collaboration in the middle and learning at the buttom, the fourth element of delivery would be the circle around this triangle which makes it whole. This is true, coherent and whole effective leadership.