Time to focus on the how of leadership
The arrival of our new Prime Minister was characterised by the certainty in the announcement of his plans – almost I’ve said it therefore it will happen. To an extent this adheres to one of the tenets of good leadership – setting clear direction.
That said one of the things we have come to know over the past decade or so is that certainty is impossible, that our course to our goal is unlikely to be neat and linear, that the goalposts will be shifting constantly. And, that we’ll likely end up somewhere different to where we planned. This is as obvious in organisational life as it is in our current political scene.
Of course we still need targets and goals. Being clear what we’re aiming to achieve is vital to the successful functioning of an organisation and the purposeful action of its people. What’s changed is how we go about this.
We need to combine a clear call to action with greater involvement in, and ownership for all our people in tackling the challenges that come our way. The conduct of our leadership, the standards we set and live ourselves, are fundamental to the climate we create for others and whether engagement and empowerment flourish or just become so many empty words.
When we’re surrounded by the fog of uncertainty walking the shifting ground with grace, acting with honesty, being consistent in our positive behaviours, making only promises that we can keep, builds confidence in and attracts the trust of others, generating the relationships, commitment and invention on which we can rely, whatever comes.