They push perceived boundaries forward. They craft the possible from the impossible. They take people with them for them.
Leaders, people who exercise leadership, are the vanguard of progress, achievement, knowledge, innovation, art, social justice, science – every human endeavour.
Influential leaders should be found in all our social domains and constructs – in homes, teams, work places, businesses, government – all over.
An influential leader is not a special breed of person; nor are they defined by their personality, position, status or title. Influential leaders are defined primarily by their leadership behaviour and the nature of the outcomes they achieve. After all, leadership does not exist for its own sake, but for a purpose.
Measure the nature of the outcome and you’ll know whether there was a leader at work, or not.
Evidence tells us that in the absence of leadership we find wretchedness, stagnation, backwardness, failure, and inhospitable conditions for peoples’ lives.
Harry S. Truman offers an elegant summation of the positive power of leadership and leaders to affect change for the better. While Truman’s schema is set at an aggregate or societal level, the principles they convey apply to every facet of life:
[Individuals – people] make history and not the other way around.
In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still.
Progress occurs when courageous, skillful
leaders seize the opportunity
to change things
for the better.
The principles are summed up as follows:
- People are at the center of leadership and progress – as leaders, partners, fellow-activists, and beneficiaries.
- The advancement of society is contingent on leadership.
- Leaders must be skilled – a skill is something we learn by doing.
- Opportunities (leadership moments) must be seized – not let waft past.
- Change is the essence of leadership, but it must be for the better.
Clearly, the take-out from Truman’s advisory is that homes, schools, teams, work places, businesses, and governments that have proper leaders will be successful in their endeavours. By inference, the more leaders there are, the broader, the deeper and the faster progress will be.
Turning to the reality of our lived lives – there is enough evidence to fill a library that we’re not doing as well as we should; that we’re in one of Truman’s periods of inertia. It has been so for some time. Our evidence exists from the micro-level to the global, it is apparent in all walks of life and in each of our social domains.
The fundamental reason for the malaise is the absence of proper leadership. In its stead we witness misleadership, unleadership, indifference and their consequences. We have ‘leadership’ behaviours and ‘leaders’ that are relics of the past and swathes of humanity that are apathetic .
Unless we produce something a great deal better for the 21st Century, we shall continue with the current trends. The old ways have got us to where we are; they can take us no further.
It cannot be business as usual.
What is required is something new and radical.
Influential Leadership is brought to you by Karoo, a proudly South African enterprise.
- Influential Leadership is a South African innovation; conceived, developed and lead by South Africans, for South Africa (although it has universal application).
- Furthermore, it is designed for the economic, political and social contexts of the 21st Century.
- It is modern, democratic, inclusive, and radical.
Now is the time to be an influential Leader!
Talk to Colin today, about your Influential Leadership Activation Program
I am committed to activating influential leaders;
people who go first; people who craft authentic
opportunities and legitimate outcomes
for inclusive, better lived lives.