Leadership – Best Practices

The art of leadership is not just leading a bunch of people through a task or a project, but helping them realise their own strengths and awaken them to live their dreams. The impact of the leader’s behaviour creates a bull whip effect on the follower’s performance. At times the act retains an indelible mark on the follower’s mind. In the words of Warren Buffett, “I was lucky to have the right heroes. Tell me who your heroes are and I’ll tell you how you’ll turn out to be. The qualities of the one you admire are the traits that you, with a little practice, can make your own, and that, if practiced, will become habit-forming.”

There are different styles of leadership. Ideally every human being is unique, so are their leadership styles. There are different theories which have clubbed human behaviours to form different leadership styles. In practise, there may not be the exact prototype to what have been written, but several permutations to it. As explained by Daniel Goleman on Leadership that gets results, Coercive Style with compliance focused “Do what I tell you”, Authoritative Style in leaders who have a clear vision saying “Come with me”, Affilitative Style to build harmony and teamwork through “People come first” attitude, Democratic Style to build consensus i.e. “What do you think”, Pacesetting Style who leads by example “Do as I do, now”, Coaching Style develop people through coaching with “try this.” concept. Ideally the situation and environment contributes to behaviour, whereas the dominant part of the nature would remain. During the organizational change, when leaders take the eye of the storm, it stands imperative to identify their innate nature and predict whom would they vie for be it people, process or the client.

The KPIs mentioned by Tony Schwartz, The Four Capacities Every Great Leader Needs (And Very Few Have), starts with Pygmalion effect through recognising strengths in others when they don’t see it. It is followed by the ‘compelling mission beyond the individual need’, the leaders help the team aim.  They define the end result skilfully which can be empowered and trust the followers to achieve it. Finally, the leaders accept their own imperfections. They have the humility to balance. The best practices to develop a leader as researched in How to Develop Future Leaders by George Ambler, includes a Linked to Strategy, Top Management Driven, Strategy & System, Thorough Front-End Analysis, Custom Designed, Leadership Profile, Feedback and Individual Development Plans, Top-Down Implementation, Action-Oriented Learning, Succession Management, Integrated Talent Management System, Measurement, High Potential Identification and Development, Top-Down Implementation, Action-Oriented Learning, Succession Management, Integrated Talent Management System, Measurement, High Potential Identification and Development. Contradictory to the conventional wisdom few initiatives were found a waste of resources including, Outdoor activity-based programs at all levels of management, Paper-based self-study leadership modules at all levels of management, Job-shadowing for senior managers, Web-based self-study for senior managers and high potentials and Executive MBAs for senior managers.

The impact of leadership on association with Innovation can be explained through Vineet Nayer’s word in prime source for encouragement for ‘Risktakes’ rather than counting initiatives through mistakes. The creativity needs to add value in institution building, Indira Nooyi, changing the concept of ‘fun for you’ to ‘good for you’ by bridging food with medicine. In How Reframers Unleash Innovation in Their Companies (And Beyond), the model for functioning in leaders pioneering ideas and achievements are
Mental model innovation → business model innovation → industry innovation → social innovation.

The implementation of the leadership development concepts would as required by the environment. A dynamic environment many include more than one strategy to implement, where as stable and matured organizations have fewer structures working out on it. Ultimately “Leadership is about creating a domain in which human beings continually deepen their understanding of reality and become more capable of participating in the unfolding world. Ultimately, leadership is about creating new realities.”– Peter Senge 

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