Businesses and Organizations Need Great Leaders
As business coaches, one of our most important roles is the development of great leaders. Whether your role is company president, nonprofit executive director, department head, entrepreneur or even parent, leadership is key to your success. We defined leadership success as the continual achievement of your own predetermined goals stabilized by balance and purified by belief.
Bruce Avolio author of Leadership Development in Balance: Made/Born states, Let us be clear, even if you are predisposed to be a leader by some favorable combination of genetics you are not preordained and learning and leading must go hand in hand for anyone to achieve their full leadership potential. That being said, within each of us is the potential for great leadership. A leadership which will lead us to personal success. A leadership will which help develop our businesses and organizations to higher levels of success. A leadership which can make us better role models for our children and more highly respected in the social groups which we participate.
Becoming a Great Leader
The question is, if we all have this leadership potential, how do we develop it further. Let me suggest the two most common methods. The first is the time-tested method of trial and error. The second is having a mentor or coach help you develop a plan and execute that plan. There can be no doubt that many of us are a product of both methods.
The trial-and-error method suggested that over a period of time you have tried things and they have worked, and you have tried things and they didn’t work. You, therefore, learned not to try things that didn’t work a second time. You also learn that if they worked, they should become part of your leadership style. Now leadership is often situational. In some cases, leadership practices that work in the first situation do not work in a second. That further complicates your learning via trial-and-error methodology. For example, a leadership style which might be necessary during a financial crisis is not the leadership style that would be needed during a period of rapid growth.
We encourage you to consider the coaching or mentoring method. It starts with a thorough understanding of the current situation from both a business point of view and a personal point of view. Understanding personal strengths and understanding personal limitations. Coaches have several assessment tools which help you better understand your behaviors, your motivators, and your decision-making process. They then build a process which over time helps an individual create a leadership style which is a benefit to them both professionally and personally.
Coaching helps an individual appreciate the importance of providing a balance between their personal and professional lives. At one time, the hope was that when we left the office at the end of a busy day and returned to our homes that we could throw a switch which divided our lives between profession and family. That hope was replaced by the reality that in this day and age the two halves of our lives are very difficult to divide. Have you ever woken in your bed in the morning and your first thought is often the important business meeting that you will have later in the day? Have you ever during your business day worried about a sick child or relative at home? Of course, you have. The two halves of your life are interconnected and must be considered in developing leadership skills.