While leadership sounds like a noun, it is actually experienced as a verb. Leadership involves actions, delivered in the moment, and built up over time. It is a marathon. A set of decisions you act out day after day. And your goal is to build goodwill and engagement, rather than angst or disenchantment. This of course will depend on the style of leadership you choose. Your style is, in effect, the ‘go to’ strategy you are using in response to the demand of the immediate and the needs of the long term.
And there are many choices. There are theories and frameworks; styles and preferences. There are principles and values; approaches and skills. There are simple exhortations – like, ‘build trust’ – or ten or more steps outlined in 200+ page books. You can podcast; YouTube; Zoom or webinar leadership.
I would also suggest, that a good night’s sleep, a healthy sense of scepticism mixed with humour, and ample time for reflection, is another formula to add to the mix.
Because it is a mix. Leading a team, an organisation or a country is increasingly complex in a world that has turned ‘normal operating procedure’ on its head. Differing styles of national leadership, and their consequences, are on full display from the Donald Trump end to the Jacinda Ardern end of the spectrum. These styles also play out at every level in all other work and community environments.
We are developing our new normal, in a world that is running at a fast pace. Our leadership choices reflect our values, our health and our current stress. As leaders we are bringing our understanding of what we need, in the small spaces and the big places, to get through these times, stronger, wiser and more resilient.
As a community, here is the call for us to respond, wherever we are and in whatever role we play, with wisdom and compassion.