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What brand of leader are you?

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What brand of leader are you? 

What kind of a leader are you, is it a direct reflection of what your world view has been?

Leadership is about people’s energy. It’s about Connecting people’s personal energy with purpose. It can be through social exchange, through creating an enabling environment for people around you to connect and grow with purpose. 

If we look at the spectrum of leadership there’s the heroic leader to the humble leader and every kind of style that sits along that spectrum. Your perspective on what leadership is likely to influence how you lead. 

If you think it’s about command and control or serving and enabling only, you have a lot to learn about leadership. 

Leadership always happens in a context. 

Whatever context we are in and what values we take along determines the kind of leader we are. 

Leadership is a values driven activity, the more we are self-aware and know of our frailties, the more effective a dialogue we will have with ourselves and others. 

The mistake some of us make is we live in ignorance; when we think we are displaying leadership what we are merely doing is management.

Until you transcend from mere management and permeate to leadership you live in mediocrity as a leader.

There are times when you are challenged like we were massively in the pandemic, we needed both management and leadership. Knowing when and how to use the two is key. The symphony of both is what a sound leader uses and knows where one ends and the other has to begin. 

If we look at the essential management function we know of the acronym PRAISE. What do managers manage? 

They manage; 

  • People Resources, Activity, Information, 
  • Themselves and the Environment.
  • Doug Parking once said 
  • Leadership is also something called VEEDA;
  • Vision 
  • Energy 
  • Engagement 
  • Direction 
  • Alignment. 

VEEDA has always resonated with me. 

Simply put, management is about the present and leadership is about the future. 

Acknowledging complexity is key. 

Leadership should not be a lonely activity, it should be shared. 

If leadership is not shared you will not have the same unified success. Trust is massively pertinent; it is the binding underlying thread. 

Unique challenges of leadership in HE are that success is multifaceted. 

Universities are doing multidisciplinary multifaceted things. 

There’s research, internationalization, learning and teaching, students engagement, market engagement etc. 

The most challenging is to engage people into one vision. The politics in HE are quite complex. Instead of authority and command as these are academically accomplished individuals one would require influence to connect and that is quite interwoven. You will not have a following or a team if you are unable to ignite in your team the fire. They take the heat from you. No heat. No team. No influence. No unison. No harmony. 

It requires a particular brand of leadership that is both high caliber; authentic and self-aware.

No individual can achieve anything near this leadership space until they have gone through a self-accepting and self-awareness journey. 

Do ask yourself, what brand of leader are you?

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