Equipping for Life & Service
One of the more specialised services I provide through my coaching is leadership development. But what is "leadership?" Who is a "leader?" And who can benefit from "leadership development?"
The term “leadership” has become a fuzzy one for many people in the workplace today. Until this past generation a "leader" was normally seen as someone who was in a “position” of leadership, one who commanded a group of people, an organization, a country, etc. (e.g. a police chief, a school principal, a pastor, a prime minister). But we can all likely think of someone who was or is in such a position and does not have what would commonly be considered the characteristics of a good leader. In today’s generation I personally see Nelson Mandela as an example of a person with a leader’s good character who, because of this, was eventually placed in the position of a leader.
Much popular leadership theory and training today argues that everyone has the potential to be a leader. If this means that everyone has the potential to exhibit the ethical and moral integrity we should be able to expect of leaders then I can, for the most part, agree with this. But if it means that anyone who takes leadership courses and training, or is put in a position of organizational leadership can, will or does function with the integrity and good character that a leader should, I would argue that this is not necessarily so.
In his book, "The Heart and Hands of Leadership" (http://www.gaynorconsulting.com/), consultant Dan Gaynor argues that not everyone has the natural skills and abilities to be in an organisational position of a leader. That is, not everyone has big picture thinking, is a visionary, can keep a group or organization on task or can effectively manage teams and projects. In fact, Gaynor postulates that many (if not most) are actually gifted and meant to be, by position, “followers.” Whether positionally a "leader" or "follower," however, Gaynor concludes that everyone should aspire to the highest levels of good moral character and integrity. Whoever does this - and achieves it - is a person who can and should be emulated. And, in this sense, everyone can and should be a leader.
In my work I help people - and organisations - explore all aspects of leadership, and "followship." I help determine if a person has the aptitudes, gifts and natural skills to function well in a position of leadership and, if so, how these might be optimised and developed further. I also help determine if it may be the time and circumstance for a leadership position to be pursued - perhaps by transfer, promotion or job change. But whether a position of organizational leadership is being considered or not, I work with people to help them learn and develop the integrity and moral character of leadership, which can be applied by anyone, anywhere and anytime – at home, on any job, in any relationship and in any environment.
Please call or email me if you think you would like to explore these matters further.