In the past, we’ve been encouraged to identify a successful leader and incorporate their success strategies for our own benefit. We’ve had the benefit of historical data that was still relevant to the future. We had the luxury of simply being able to tweak or change to ensure these strategies worked even better for us. But it’s not a case of just following the leader any more.
To create a future from uncertainty, to lead through change, to manage complexity and inspire different generations of people we simply must challenge what we’re doing now and build a solid leadership foundation we can leverage from daily. Leadership can’t be left to chance.
This is a huge and exciting opportunity for leaders because we now have the opportunity to lead from the front. Literally. To shake up paradigms and practices, and create our own Leadership Template for the future. If we want to have business principles that support and embrace cultural and generational inclusion, gender diversity and equality, and environments that encourage collaboration and idea creation then we need to make it happen. We need to lead it. This is applicable no matter what level leader you are.
Strong leadership is built on a solid foundation,
whereas ‘boring’, ‘beige’ and the ‘people pleaser’ styles of leadership are not.
Foundation means the lowest load-bearing part of a building, typically below ground level or an underlying basis or principle. The foundation to your leadership is similar to that of a house. The foundation supports the structure of the home, which is why it must always be rock solid. If its foundations are weak, the house will fall over.
To put this in a professional context, look at an experienced fire fighter. They have the core knowledge of skills for fighting fires. This is their foundation. They draw on this as situations arise and know how to adapt to various environments. It is everything they achieve their results through.
The foundation to your leadership is all of your attributes, beliefs and unique abilities that others look to follow. It’s also your EQ (emotional intelligence). When things get tough, you rely on your foundation. A solid foundation enables you to be a more influential, inclusive, confident and inspiring leader. It enables you to be adaptive, flexible and portable. It will enable you to communicate with a positive impact and to be a leader worth following.
It is your basis to build your empire from, whatever that looks like to you. It may be a business, a movement, a legacy, an empowered bunch of future leaders – or a combination of all of that. Whatever your goals or visions, personal or professional, you need to have a solid and defined foundation to begin.
Your Leadership Template
A strong leadership foundation is built on what I call the Leadership Template and is what will make sure you stay relevant. There are five critical components to your Leadership Template:
Over the next 5 weeks I’ll cover each component of the Leadership Template in detail to give you a deep insight into what is truly at the core and foundation to successful 21st century leadership.