The lan­guage of lead­er­ship and build­ing a move­ment

Business First - - CONTENTS - By Pe­tar Lack­ovic

Ilike to treat lead­er­ship like a lan­guage…if you wanted to learn Span­ish, would you learn more from a 12 month Span­ish course at a lan­guage col­lege or by liv­ing in Spain for one month? Ar­guably you would say by liv­ing in Spain…Why? Be­cause you are sur­rounded by the lan­guage 24/7, to max­imise your ex­pe­ri­ence or to even get by you are speak­ing and hear­ing it ev­ery­day, not just a few times a week… you are work­ing on your Span­ish 24/7 whether you re­alise it or not when you are sur­rounded by it.

To be­come the best Leader pos­si­ble, you must speak the Lead­er­ship Lan­guage 24/7, be con­scious and im­ple­ment lead­er­ship strate­gies on a daily ba­sis and only then you will find yourself flu­ent in Lead­er­ship.

So ask yourself, am I im­prov­ing my stand­ing as leader each and ev­ery­day?

There are many facets of Lead­er­ships that have been and will con­tinue to be cov­ered over time, how­ever the one facet that has al­ways in­trigued me and the one that the most ef­fec­tive lead­ers of our gen­er­a­tion pos­sess, is the in­nate abil­ity and artistry to use their Lead­er­ship skills to cre­ate a move­ment: A move­ment with both the brand they rep­re­sent and a move­ment within the or­gan­i­sa­tion it­self.

Through­out his­tory, the nu­cleus of the most pow­er­ful move­ments is of­ten a Man­dela, Mother Theresa or Ghandi type fig­ure or in busi­ness a Nooyi, Bran­son or Welch type fig­ure and one thing they all had in com­mon is the abil­ity to cre­ate a group of people with a com­mon ide­ol­ogy.

When we talk Lead­er­ship, I be­lieve it’s the lead­ers that can cre­ate a group of people with a com­mon ide­ol­ogy, that will blow their com­peti­tors apart and cat­a­pult their busi­ness and people to new heights they could hardly imag­ine on their own…this is the type of leader to as­pire to.

To live and breathe, this day in day out, would be to treat Lead­er­ship as a Lan­guage. Here are four lead­er­ship lan­guage lessons to en­able you as a leader to build the most pow­er­ful move­ment pos­si­ble.

1. Pur­pose of Com­mu­ni­ca­tion

Maybe be­cause it’s sim­ple and easy but too of­ten we com­mu­ni­cate ‘What’ it is we want people to fol­low, yet the what merely re­in­forces the log­i­cal com­po­nents of the di­rec­tion as op­posed to the vi­sion. Si­mon Sinek and his ‘golden cir­cle’ place em­pha­sis on the ‘WHY’ be­cause “it’s of­ten the com­plete op­po­site to ev­ery­one else. People don’t buy into what you do but they buy into Why you do it.

The Why cre­ates be­lief and people be­lieve what you be­lieve. If you com­mu­ni­cate about what you be­lieve, you’ll at­tract those who be­lieve what you be­lieve. Sinek goes on to say that “The WHAT is merely the proof be­hind what you be­lieve”, so please re­mem­ber that people don’t buy into what you do, they buy into WHY you do it.”

Here is an­other way to look at it… You can choose to com­mu­ni­cate three key ar­eas: 1. The What. 2. The Out­come of the What, or 3. The Ef­fects of The Out­comes. The ef­fects of the Out­comes res­onate deeper with people and re­ver­ber­ate on a more emo­tional level that aligns with pur­pose.

2. Guts

As a Leader we are of­ten look­ing into new hori­zons, see­ing and look­ing for what oth­ers don’t, ven­tur­ing where oth­ers wouldn’t dare and tin­ker­ing with a uni­verse that doesn’t yet ex­ist. For this rea­son the Leader needs to have the ‘Guts’ to stand alone and even look ridicu­lous in the eyes of oth­ers.

Nel­son Man­dela had the guts to stand firm, fol­low through and face the reper­cus­sions of his ac­tions and be­liefs so as to lead the way.

3. Be Easy to Fol­low

So many times the road ahead can seem com­plex, chal­leng­ing, even risky at first sight…all leading to vi­sions that could cre­ate doubt and un­cer­tainty in your team.

Be easy to fol­low by mak­ing the com­plex seem sim­ple, the chal­leng­ing seem re­ward­ing the risky seem ex­cit­ing and com­mu­ni­cate as such.

Mas­ter the art of be­ing able to break down the unimag­in­able, into man­age­able steps/ac­tions and re­hearse clearly ar­tic­u­lat­ing this.

4. Fo­cus

It’s the early adapters or the first fol­low­ers that ev­ery­one of­ten fol­lows. and a clever leader will have a com­plete fo­cus on em­brac­ing these early adapters or the first fol­low­ers.

Fo­cus on em­brac­ing the early adapters or first fol­low­ers as equals, this way it’s not only about the leader any­more but about them, the plu­ral. It does take guts to be the first fol­lower and it’s the early adapter or first fol­lower that trans­forms the leader with the new, com­plex, chal­leng­ing or risky idea into a leader and vi­sion­ary. Re­mem­ber, there is no move­ment with­out the early adapters or first fol­low­ers.

‘ Re­mem­ber that Lead­er­ship is a lan­guage and the more you speak it, the more nat­u­ral it will be­come. What you do have to re­mem­ber is, that it is a uni­ver­sal lan­guage

that the whole world is crav­ing to speak.’

It could be said that the early adapter or the first fol­lower is ac­tu­ally a form of lead­er­ship in it­self as they may brave ridicule and this takes ed­i­fy­ing them will cre­ate a se­cu­rity and be­long­ing for oth­ers to buy in quicker to the move­ment. (This is some­thing Steve Jobs and Ap­ple did very well, which is why you would see hun­dreds wait­ing in line be­fore an Ap­ple store opens to buy the new ver­sion of the iphone/ ipad etc.)

Cre­at­ing a move­ment as a leader is no easy feat which is why so few suc­ceed, yet it it the real tes­ta­ment of a great leader.

On re­sults alone, one of the great­est lead­ers of our time Jack Welch says it best…”

“Giv­ing people self-con­fi­dence is by far the most im­por­tant thing that I can do. Be­cause then they will act.”

Re­mem­ber that Lead­er­ship is a lan­guage and the more you speak it, the more nat­u­ral it will be­come. What you do have to re­mem­ber is, that it is a uni­ver­sal lan­guage that the whole world is crav­ing to speak.”

I’ll leave you with one more Welch bomb...

“Good busi­ness lead­ers cre­ate a vi­sion, ar­tic­u­late the vi­sion, pas­sion­ately own the vi­sion, and re­lent­lessly drive it to com­ple­tion.”

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