Sunday, October 3, 2021


Leadership comprises logic, aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, ontology, and epistemology, and yet by creating a framework for schools of principles, processes and practices.

The essence of leadership is simple -to set direction and steer change. But the content and context of leadership is complex. People perceive leadership differently, try to classify it in a different way. But it seems no one can understand the depth and breadth of leadership completely.

 Leadership is about alignment and integration interconnected with hidden clues to solve problems effectively. Given the opportunity, it’s important to establish an enabling leadership logic framework and structure in line with business ambition and desired direction, and nurture a creative culture within it.

Principle: Leadership philosophy and principle is methodical and has a clarified logic and deliberate processes for identifying questions, reasoning, pinpointing faulty reasoning, and thinking outside the box. Thus, it’s imperative that "leadership" can be explained, explored, understood and embraced for it to be of any value via philosophical lenses. In reality, there is lots of confusion about leadership substances & style; leadership mentality & behavior; leadership vision & communication; leadership influence & position; or overall leadership cause-effect, etc. Leadership principles are not a set of overly restrictive rules defined by manuals or cookbooks, but a set of wisdom-based principles that integrate both art and science; logic and intuition, character and charisma, etc, through interdisciplinary understanding and progressive perspectives.

Leadership logic could be paradoxical: candor vs. diplomatic; tough vs. soft; cool vs. warm; serious vs. fun; but it’s always important to capture the bigger picture with a long term perspective. Leadership is about respecting and understanding people and driving progressive changes. Thus, 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 the organization toward the right direction. Effective leadership must come from in-depth understanding first, before communicating. Besides vision, logic is the hidden clue to make leadership function, firm and delight. Highly effective leaders take a logical approach to transform a crowd into a workable collective, and even greater -into the fountain of human potential.

Process: Leadership is about focus, not a hierarchy; it is a logical process for framing the right problems and solving them effectively without causing too many other issues. It’s an ability to not only ask the right questions but understand the context, as well as guide the team to figure out varying answers which could be all right from different perspectives and take alternative ways to solve problems innovatively. The command and control style leadership is gradually out of steam in the era of information exponentiality, because staff now are more educated than what they used to be, they are more informed as to what is going on and the changes taking place around them. Effective processes with strong leadership logic today are based on clear vision, empathetic understanding, fresh knowledge, logical reasoning, persuasive communication to drive desired change and make collective progress.

Leadership is an “inclusion” and “innovative” process
. Orienting people and making them aware of the inclusion in their organization or team, helps them understand the value of harnessing the differences to create an inclusive organization with every dip in the business lifecycle. Organizational leaders need to understand that it is the process, instead of maintaining hierarchy or status quo, that will create and enforce the collective mindset of creativity through cross-boundary collaboration or co-operation. Effective leaders need to have both broad business acumen and deep expertise in the specific field, with multidimensional thinking ability, transdisciplinary knowledge, cross-functional experience, to practice expert power, improve leadership as an inclusive process to lead change and amplify leadership influence.

Practice: Leadership is not a set of soft skills only, but an integral capability portfolio. Leadership is situational, there is the time you need to lead ahead, there’s the time you might need to lead from behind. To deal with unprecedented complexity and uncertainty, not only leaders and managers today should have intentions and passion to lead, but they also have to shape their set of leadership portfolios with cognitive differences, intellectual sophistication, unique strength and style to lead effectively. It is the time to shift from cookie-cutting generic leadership practices to competency based gap-minding leadership practices. Inquisitive leaders are great educators who test class by asking questions and seek a variety of reasonable answers. Intrapreneur leaders are not only self-motivated but also motivate teams to cultivate creativity, encourage the staff to think out-of-the-box, and enhance “ownership” mentality. Progressive leaders are continually practicing, experiencing, learning, growing, adjusting to make a smooth shift.

Innovative leaders are logical integrators of abundant information/knowledge, enriched culture, and multidisciplinary talent & expertise.
They practice “structural leadership,” deepening understanding of interfaces and interactions associated with complex businesses, and apply interdisciplinary science (engineering, math, psychology, sociology, etc.) and engenders new perspectives or actions as part of the process to improve organizational maturity. We are stepping into the people-centric era with personalized touch in many perspectives today. Thus, personalized leadership is affected by context, culture, including capability and resources, and the means to an end, rather than just defined by the end result. Innovative leaders are logical practitioners who are able to share their thoughts and quotes based on authenticity to envision and co-develop the future of the world; appreciate and recognize the best talent and the most valuable things; integrate hard and soft capitals and resources, as well as influence changes tastes & flavors through their personalized leadership styles and practices.

Performance: Leadership is a competency within itself; not an hour setting work, but a throney journey of discovering who you are and making continuous deliveries. There are leadership opportunities at any given point in time where people congregate to achieve a goal. Leadership competency and performance are based on the soundness of judgment and decision effectiveness for solving problems directly or indirectly to achieve tangible results. Both quality and quantity count. Leaders make decisions large or small on a daily basis. The performance measurement for decision-making is an important aspect to assess leadership effectiveness.

At the strategic level, leadership performance should connect dots to tell the compelling story with unique leadership context, and tangible influence. Leadership high performance is not based on isolated behaviors to deliver some measurable result, but a series of logical interconnected actions to achieve desired outcome with consistency. Traditional assessment for corporate management has been financing driven. However, financial indicators only cover part of the story. Due to the nonlinear business logic & practices of contemporary leadership & management, it is critical to define the right set of measures which should cover all areas that organizational leaders contribute to multifaceted value-creating.

Potentiality: Forward thinking organizations not only need good managers to take care of today’s business but also have to grow the future leaders with sophistication to deal with the complex and volatile business ecosystem. Leadership development is a strategic imperative to explore potentiality and improve future leadership effectiveness. The potential is the ability and interest to take on more responsibilities in the future which is displayed by people’s leadership influence or exemplified behavior. Logically, tapping leadership potentiality starts with inferential inquiries: How well does the individual continue to perform and grow in their current roles? And how likely are they to take on new challenges at work, rapidly learn and grow into next-level roles, or roles that are expanded and redefined as business changes? What’re people’s innate talent, strength, character, charisma, discipline and time management skills? If a top-notch employee wants to continue growing, better the company supports and encourages that and align their career goals with the strategic goals of the organizations.

Self discovery & actualization and personalized development and training are all crucial to explore leadership potential. Begin from the inside out and be completely honest about your talent, strength, fears, weaknesses. Do everything you can to build up your courage, wherewithal and confidence from the inside out. It’s important to create personalized development plans and provide an ongoing follow-up support structure to identify and integrate people’s talent or skills into their unique set of multi-core-competency. That will ultimately be more effective than solely classroom based teachings. Leadership development programs followed by an assignment to test the application of learning and a mentor sponsor during the entire assignment goes a long way in making it a success at both personal and organization levels. With the increasing level of uncertainty and complexity, there is a high expectation for leaders to wear different personas to gain empathy and ensure the personal development of the team, so collectively, they can maximize human potential.

Leadership is an influence, which comes from the good combination of self-aware mindset, the color of the character and intuitive gut/heart feeling. It comprises logic, aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, ontology, and epistemology, and yet by creating a framework for schools of principles, processes and practices. Leadership is a journey and it develops daily, not in a day. In fact, the most critical and yet overlooked foundation to being a real leader is in choosing a destination that creates a better world!


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