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Two Sides of the Leadership Coin

New year, new decade, let’s hope we can consign the hairy elements of 2009 to the noughties.  In the meantime, talking leadership is where it’s at (in this section, at any rate).  Thought as a starting blog for 2010, I’d explore two elements of Leadership – self-leadership and organisational leadership – which we can then mull over in more detail in further blogs.

As I see it, Self-Leadership covers both how we manage ourselves and how we present ourselves to others.  Presenting our ideas and influencing others to adopt them is vital to the success of a leader; but what elements are necessary within an individual to culminate in being a successful leader?  Authentic Leadership (see previous blog for more on this topic) is one element but what are the others?

Organisational Leadership deals with looking at the organisation’s future and positioning it to be able to survive, evolve and grow, long-term.  Enabling long-term survival and growth necessarily includes managing the short- and medium-term.  So, what skills are needed to be able to successfully lead an organisation?

As I see it, these topics are two sides of the same leadership coin.  Leaders need a sense of where they’re going and then, they need to bring others along with them.  Over the next few blogs, I’ll explore the two sides in more detail.  In the meantime, what skills and qualities do you admire in the people you consider leaders?

I work with Business Owners, Executives and Managers to help them overcome blockages so that they achieve their goals. I excel at getting people to think, getting people to talk and getting people to agree to giving things a go. In summary, I bring Clarity to the issues, provide on-going Support and guide them to achieve Results. I am an experienced Executive Coach and Leadership Development Trainer. I am qualified in 360 Emotional Intelligence and am constantly seeking new ways to assist my clients.

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  • I'd say the number one thing I admire is the power to listen and then, also a very difficult one, the power to deliver proper feedback and follow up. Every leader is busy but if they make you feel that they have time to listen to you (even thou in reality that could be just a couple of minutes) it makes the entire difference.

  • Hi Irial, I think leaders need to have foresight and insight particularly now days when short-term thinking is the order of the day. I am also fan of the principles of shared leadership.

  • ElliStGeorgeGodfrey

    Irial,Fred's point about listening is a key piece of how even the most uncharismatic leader can inspire loyalty. It's remarkable how little time it takes to listen (not that we remember this all the time) and how powerful it feels to have someone's full attention. For the organisational leadership, this is when the executive team acts as an entity instead of as individuals while not losing sight of their individual roles. Trusting the process of discussing, deciding, and executing goals with someone designated to keep accountability is important. A lot of terrific strategic plans never get converted in operational plans because a commitment to accountability is not accepted by the whole team. Sometimes the CEO, president, or project manager doesn't ask for progress reports or keep deadlines firm. It's important for all team members to give each other nudges to stay focused. I look forward to reading your posts on leadership as this is such a rich topic!

  • Name

    Thanks for your thoughts guys. I'd say we'll definitely see all the points you made cropping up again in later blogs. As for the “actions speaking louder than words” example that Eli gave, couldn't have said it better myself. This is quite a little hobby horse of mine 🙂 which I'm sure will be rearing it's head again. All the best, Irial

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