Linking leadership behavior to a job title is a misconception. You do not need a title to behave in a way that is admirable by all.
Leadership is not linked to a job role, a function, a department or an industry. Everyone should adopt leadership behavior and conduct themselves in a just, honest and supportive manner. Leadership cannot be claimed neither, it is awarded to you by those around you.
There are many examples of good leadership vs bad leadership. Let me share an old war story of a general and his soldiers. Legend has it that a man riding on a horseback came up on a battlefield and saw exhausted soldiers digging defense trenches while their commanding officer barked orders and threatened punishment if they did not complete the job in time.
The man on horseback asked the commander why he was not helping the soldiers dig if the work was that important, to which the commander replied: “I’m in charge! The men do as I tell them. Help them yourself if you feel so strongly about it”.
To the surprised of everyone, the man dismounted from his horse and helped the soldiers dig side by side until the job was completed. He then congratulated the soldiers for a job well done and approached the puzzled commander. The man said: “Next time your rank prevents you from supporting your men, you are to notify top command and they will provide a more permanent solution”. Up on close, the commander recognized the man as General George Washington.
Take a moment to imagine with me that kind of leadership replicated throughout an organization. What type of organization will it be? What would it feel like to work in such an organization and do business with its employees?
At Awe Horizons, we advocate various leadership skills under three main pillars: People Leadership, Business Leadership and Strategic Leadership. Each pillar consists of certain skill sets required to become a holistic leader. For more information about our leadership pillars, please read our June 2018 blog here.
A successful organization is one where all employees embrace and breath the same leadership air into their lungs, regardless of job titles. For this to happen, the board of directors and executives need to walk the leadership talk.
We cannot expect an individual to excel in all leadership competencies from day one. Rather, skills are developed over time, as a leader continues to strengthen their leadership muscle.
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