JLBC: THE MASTER LEADERSHIP
REVIEW FROM THE PREVIOUS SESSION (SESSION):
Leadership is a process that essentially involves three fundamental things: vision (of the future), inspiration (rather than forcing others to do something), and strategy (the plan of how we are going to make the vision a reality, which includes a supportive organizational culture).
Similar to definitions of leadership, there is only one universally- agreed upon set of leadership capabilities. There is, however, a
set of capabilities that appear to apply to any leadership situation (when taken as a whole rather than at a specific moment in time). What follows below is again the product of my Master's dissertation, which includes an analysis of dozens of studies and lists of leadership capabilities before concluding with a synthesized set.
LEADERSHIP, IS IT UNIVERSAL OR CONTEXT-SPECIFIC?
The core principles of leadership are universal to a large extent.
For example, can you imagine an entire leadership process where leaders and team members did not need a shared vision as a source of motivation?
• The application of leadership and its key capabilities requires context-specific modification based on many variables, such as the organization's size, organizational context (e.g., start-up, merger, opening a new office), culture, domain (e.g., military versus healthcare), etc.
• In addition to variables that appear to be fixed (but are not), such as the culture external to the organization (e.g., location, local customs, etc.), leaders must adapt their style or approach according to the whole set of circumstances in any given moment. For example, leaders need to act in a more autocratic manner in a crisis (e.g., a fire) than the same leaders do in a non-crisis ("peacetime") situation, where they often tend to be more democratic.
• One nuance: there is strong evidence that leaders who are highly skilled at the organization's core business (such as an exceptional surgeon as the CEO of a hospital versus a non-clinical business person in the same role) produce the best results at the operational and financial levels. This has been tested in multiple professional domains.
For example, Dr. Amanda Goodall studied NBA basketball coaches and found that the most successful by far was coaches who had been all-star players themselves. These coaches outperformed coaches who had been NBA players but not all-stars and those who had never been professional players.
JLBC LEADERSHIP CHARACTERISTICS CHECKLIST
How many of the following leadership characteristics do you recognize in yourself:
Leading Change INTRODUCTION TO LEADERSHIP