Monday, September 26, 2022


 Great leaders know how to carry themselves in most contexts, amplify leadership influence by keeping creative energy flowing around, discovering purpose, strengthening leadership strength, and building high level professional competency.

People are complex, businesses are complex, the world is complex; thus, leadership is complex. Today’s cross boundary leaders have to deal with opposing views, paradox, diverse cultures, constraints, and competition.

 With exponential growth of information and shortened knowledge lifecycle, even the top seasoned leaders admit there are known unknown and unknown unknown. They have to constantly refine their leadership, bridge insight gaps, inspire the culture of learning, amplify collective creativity, and accelerate progressive changes.

Authenticity is the foundation to be a thought leader: Leading forward is only possible when you truly know yourself. Being authentic is the state of self-reflections, self-discovery, and self-improvement. Becoming an authentic leader is a process of becoming your true authentic self in all that you are today and "to be" in the future. Everyone is unique. The mind of every individual is different; as every person has a unique set of knowledge, experience, personality, preference. When you dig deeper in yourselves, the questions arise - Who are you? What makes you unique? Where do your thoughts come from, how do they inspire you to be a leader?

Authenticity comes from self-awareness, value proposition, and fair judgment. Being authentic means being true to that in every aspect: thinking, saying, and doing to enforce accountability. An authentic leader has coherent character and courage to decide and act, makes sound judgment, improves professionalism, presents the combination of values, attitude, integrity, to lift up leadership maturity.

Unify common understanding, values & expectation for tough issues to a certain degree, in order to solve them collaboratively:
Leadership is about change and direction, framing the right problems and solving them effectively. To deal with today’s complex problems and overcome challenges, individual work and group work cannot be done without cross-boundary, horizontal unification and top-down vertical accountability. Common understanding can be at many levels and it has to be explained from many perspectives. From surface interesting facts understanding to deeper multifaceted cause-effect reasoning, it's the deeper ones that change the mindset, shapes attitude and behavior, to influence surroundings.

Becoming a cross-boundary leader means you need to have vision to unify the difference; interdisciplinary knowledge to understand problems holistically; differentiated competency to solve issues innovatively. To drive progressive changes, constructive criticism and creative augments are invaluable feedback, conflict should lead to open communication, spur innovation, and lead to unification. Insightful leaders are able to unify and harmonize the team by integrating diverse perspectives into abstract conceptualization, also able to translate the abstract concept back into the real world example, and tell a compelling story to amplify leadership impact. So they can unify differences and take collaborative efforts to co-solve common problems smoothly.

Innovation becomes simply creating value by solving simple or complex problems in alternative ways:
Open-mindedness is a significant characteristic of innovation leadership. Since innovation is fundamentally about challenging common beliefs, breaking outdated knowledge, having more assumptions uncovered will lead to greater innovation. Innovative leaders are forward thinking and capable of predicting trends, managing present & future, perceiving the holistic picture and applying creativity in areas not tried before. Top leaders with high-level innovation competency can set the tone for building a unique innovation capability portfolio to solve problems alternatively..

Innovative leaders have interdisciplinary knowledge and cross-functional experience to connect the dots, not only ask the right questions but understand the context, enhance empathic understanding, sustain a balance of diversified viewpoints, inspire team members to create a portfolio of new ideas, concepts, and scenarios, and advocate a healthy climate for innovation. Leadership innovation is a prototype practice, organizations need to keep experimenting, and exploring with clear goals and continuous practices.

In essence, leadership is about change and influencing people to change. With increased velocity, complexity, unpredictability, ambiguity, change, innovation, autonomy, etc, are all parts of inspirational leadership which demands insight, understanding, persistence, and courage, among other things. Great leaders know how to carry themselves in most contexts, amplify leadership influence by keeping creative energy flowing around, discovering purpose, strengthening leadership strength, and building high level professional competency.


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