A prescriptive definition of leadership seems absurd especially now. Your leadership depends on so many factors including your personality, preferences, your people and your context. There are principles that I think are timeless, but to suggest there is a one size fits all approach is not accurate.
In fact, we are seeing traditional leadership development being passed over for relevant contextualized training based on principle vs. prescription.
A good place to start when looking to redefine leadership is to ask yourself a few reflective questions –
1.) Given my context, what type of leader would I want to emulate? For me, I want a leader that has a clear vision, demonstrates care and holds me accountable to the work that I find meaningful.
2.) What are my leadership strengths? This question is so important right now because stress and anxiety removes our clarity and lessens confidence. We may have forgotten what we are good at or have begun to doubt ourselves. Remember so much of what is happening now in your business is not your fault. Your worth and value is not representative of your revenue. Businesses have been disrupted and that does not mean your identity has too!
3.) How is your role as a leader evolving? Consider the following exercise – Draw two columns with several rows. The header for the first column should read “FROM” and the header for the second column should read “TO.” As an example, leadership is moving “FROM” – “Command and Control” “TO” – “Relationships And Trust” Do this exercise for your team and your business? The results will give you a clue into your contextual definition of leadership.
The prevailing and timeless principles in our research and expertise include the following: First, we all influence. Leadership is not born it is built through experience, learning and solid reflection. Second, a leader must have a vision to be truly inspirational. Thirdly, leading self is the foundation of leadership. In other words, understanding your strengths and weakness is a cornerstone of leadership. Managing your stress is more important than ever and will be moving forward.
Good luck on your journey!