Wednesday, May 18, 2016

“WHY, WHAT, and HOW” in Authentic Leadership

Leadership is complex, and although it has many facets, at its core, the foundation of leadership is based on authenticity.

Leadership is complex yet simple: Complex in that there are so many traits and characteristics that are considered when evaluating a leader. Simplicity in that the substantial of leadership never changes, it’s about future. What are great questions to inspire authentic leadership and how to improve leadership effectiveness?

WHY do you want to lead? An authentic leader fills a certain gap or multiple gaps in order to lead to the future. Becoming a leader is a process of becoming your true authentic self in all that you are today and "to be" in the future. So rather than looking for examples of leaders out there, look within yourself and ask: Why do you want to lead? Why should others follow you? Being a leader takes one to have a desire to do better than others in certain domains while creating themselves a platform of influence in wherever they are. The intention of becoming a leader is to inspire and innovate, to improve and advance, to facilitate and encourage, as change is often uncomfortable, yet necessary part of reaching the future and maintaining success.  Authenticity is the foundation to be a thought leader. When you dig deeper in yourselves, the questions arise - Who are you? What make you unique? Where do your thoughts come from and so on? When you get some answers to these questions and get some clarity, the fountain of thought starts to flow, it helps you in identifying your intention to lead, which instills action to serve the vision that is perceived as leadership for the right cause.

WHAT is your leadership strength? The next step is investigating what’s your strength, your passion, defining your task, things you want to do and do better than others. Leadership is about future, what’s your leadership strength, what can you bring to the table? Do you have a clearer vision, advanced mindset, in-depth domain knowledge, or creativity? Digital leadership needs to be highly intelligent and highly influential. The emphasis is on trying to determine which competencies or capabilities should be used in which combination, and with what level of weight for each, for every different situation, in order to improve leadership effectiveness. An authentic leader has the vision to serve as an enabler, and creativity to convey and make a vision reality. If vision is about the "end" status, then innovation is the means to the end.” “Vision" is a destination and 'innovation' is the better process, tools, cultures, etc., to get you there. Coaching and mentoring are going to be increasingly important now, and that’s why expert power is perhaps more powerful than other types of powers in the age of digitalization and globalization. The authentic leaders with high intelligence have adaptability, consistency, profundity, and empathy to master business dynamic and cultural cognizance.

HOW can you improve leadership effectiveness, profundity, and maturity? How can you take leadership to the next level and achieve organizational success? One of the most important things leaders can do for people they wish to lead is to work towards emotional connections with those they wish to influence. The leader creates the vision, the mission, the objective, the goal, whatever one wishes to call it. High-effective leadership needs the great capacity of (1) keeping the mind focused on the goal, (2) observing how people are and how they interact with the goal, (3) knowing how to motivate multi-generational and multicultural workforce through inspiration, positive energy, co-creation. In order to lead more effectively, high-effective leaders should also need to understand the root cause of the failure, less focus on command-control style management, more focus on peer-to-peer collaboration. High effective leaders should also be comfortable with digital technologies because technology will help through transparency, idea sharing, linking and openness - only managers who will become leaders will survive. Effective digital leaders must be comfortable with remote team participation and work to develop team cohesion and synergy with the multi-location, multicultural, diversely skilled team, chartered with delivering the team's objective.

Leadership is complex, digital leadership is sophisticated. Although it has many facets, at its core, the foundation of leadership is based on authenticity. Ask the big “WHY” question to discover your intention to lead. It’s also important to discover and enforce your own leadership strength, in order to amplify leadership influence and improve leadership maturity. The ultimate criterion of "high-influential leadership," is the ability to create more leaders, to spread leadership - or, more precisely, to groom more authentic leaders with the ability to think differently, independently, and innovatively.


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