Sunday, August 7, 2016

"Leadership Master" Book Tuning VIII: Three Leadership Understanding beyond Status Quo

Confusing of leadership substance with style is one of the root causes of turning leadership as a Status Quo.

People perceive leadership differently, also try to classify leadership or lead in a different way. However, due to the limitation of the human wisdom and silo thinking, no one can understand the depth and breadth of leadership completely. Often, people get confused about leadership substance with style, try to be the build blocks of one type of good leadership, but turn to be the roadblock when scaling up leadership influence, or making leadership from good to great. Leadership is about future and changes, how to lead profoundly beyond status quo?

Leadership is not about who is ahead, but who has the vision to see further with clarity: Leadership is situational, there is the time you need to lead ahead, there’s the time you might need to lead from behind. But regardless of your position, vision is one of the most important leadership traits. You need to see further than others with clarity in order to navigate the uncharted water, and steer toward the right direction. Visionary leaders see possibilities before others, but they also need to tackle great challenges with grand consequences over long time spans; they convey a vision based on principles that make an advanced movement. They have the capability to look ahead and imagine what is possible for their organizations as part of the whole, and then execute the right options as part of the overall vision for the firm/company via logic steps. They intuitively draw on the timeless wisdom and cognizance and present it in a new synthesis and frame the fresh picture to meet the particular need of the times.

Leadership is not about who is above, but who has a real understanding with insight to see underneath the surface: Effective leadership must come from in-depth understanding first, before communicating. To put briefly, understanding and insight are leadership substance, and communication is the leadership style. It must go beyond “who’s above who” sort of status quo. The insight of situation requires in-depth understanding. If you analyze the word “understanding,” you will find that it exists of two seemly opposite words: "Under and Stand," well articulate the multifaceted meaning and paradoxical wisdom of understanding.  Too often people may take the easy path, think and work at a superficial level rather than spend the time to understand what is going on underneath. Insight is an understanding of cause and effect based on the identification of relationships and behaviors within a model, context, or scenario. The insight based on fully understanding which takes both creativity and reasoning, intuition and logic, the power of acute observation and deduction, questioning, connection, penetration, discernment, and perception.  

Leadership is not just about providing answers for controlling, but on how to frame the good questions for brainstorming and make sound judgments & effective decisions: In the static industrial age, leaders perhaps think they should have all the answers to controlling the situation. And nowadays, businesses become over-complex and extremely uncertain, more often, framing the right questions to ask or defining the real problems to solve is more challenging than finding the answers or discovering the solutions. Leadership is an ability to be able to not only ask the right questions but understand the context. Leadership must go beyond the status quo, to value collective wisdom, because it helps you actually UNDERSTAND the problem, and understanding a problem is the most critical step in solving it. Leadership competency is based on the soundness of judgment and decision effectiveness for solving problems directly or indirectly.

There is no magic formula of great leadership, with the digital paradigm shift, today’s multi-generational, multicultural and multi-devicing leaders must break down the silo thinking and gain in-depth understanding, envision the better way to lead, capture the insight, grasp the substance, be creative, in order to lead effortlessly.


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