Where leadership starts?

Leaders start by trusting themselves, being true to their character and values, and doing the right thing (the best they can or know). Whether you're running an organization, a group, your family, or yourself, the easiest path is to start by leading with your own true self: your character. Leadership starts with taking an active role in how we direct our own lives. You should be the main character in your own story, not someone who plays a supporting role as if you were alone for the trip.

Listening to a short TED talk about starting a movement, I began to think about how leadership starts from within. In the example cited in the talk, the leader of the movement seems to be crazy until he gains his first follower. The leader then embraces the first follower and relates to the others. I think this leader felt the need to start a movement and he didn't hesitate; the decision to lead and start a movement was a choice before an action.

The example also highlighted how leaders should remain passionate about their purpose and build relationships with their followers. All leaders like good challenges. It leads others to great things by teaching them to accept challenges. As one of our clients, who leads a global workforce of 20,000 people, says, leadership starts with imagining the unimaginable.

He gave the speech I Have a Dream, the same words painted a world of possibilities that people could fulfill. It wasn't predictable to happen at the time, and while we still have work to do today to even out the playing fields, with King's bold leadership, important steps were taken in realizing that dream. As a result, many workplaces still suffer from the legacy of antiquated command-and-control leadership styles that divide workers between thinkers who make decisions (managers) and those who execute them (employees). Matthew Overlund writes nonfiction and trains professional development for new (or not so new) managers in Leadership %26 Vision, where he helps incredible people achieve greater potential as they evolve from getting things done to making things happen.

I found that all of them are effective in demonstrating to people that, despite the change in leadership direction represented by my arrival, the company was about to change for the better. It is another fundamental function that, together with leadership and management, makes business dominance possible. While this doesn't mean that technical skills have no value for leadership, social and emotional intelligence is much more important. If management reports on key metrics that highlight performance, leadership defines the link between those metrics and the guiding vision.

Now, it could be said that there is a third paradigm that often collapses in management or leadership and that is entrepreneurship. It's that leadership capacity, that promise of what could be that I think lives in each of us. The field of leadership is a nuanced, complex and potentially infinite set of knowledge and discoveries. Before you chart a course to become a better leader, you need to decide what the purpose of leadership is for you.

To complicate matters, most people don't know (in practice) where management stops and where leadership begins. A modern and evolving world requires modern and evolving leadership practices based on human beings who are still at the center of every problem, solution and opportunity in your business. While there is a time and place for both approaches, the field of leadership is significantly more varied than that and these two styles are profoundly limited in their own right.

Edna Freemon
Edna Freemon

Freelance coffee lover. Friendly pop culture buff. Music maven. Professional twitter maven. Unapologetic zombie junkie. Lifelong food lover.

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