Francisco Rodriguez Higueras asked:
leaders have different ideas about leadership. For example, see below Jack Welch’s perspective of leadership, which even though quite modern compared to many leaders, is nevertheless based on quite traditional leadership principles.
First here is a deeper more philosophical view of effective modern leadership which addresses the foundations of effective leadership, rather than the styles and methods built on top, which are explained later.
A British government initiative surfaced in March 2008, which suggested that young people should swear an oath of allegiance to ‘Queen and Country’, seemingly as a means of improving national loyalty, identity, and allegiance.
While packaged as a suggestion to address ‘disaffection’ among young people, the idea was essentially concerned with leadership – or more precisely a failing leadership.
The idea was rightly and unanimously dismissed by all sensible commentators as foolhardy nonsense, but it does provide a wonderful perspective by which to examine and illustrate the actual important principles of leadership: 1.Always, when leaders say that the people are not following the sistem, it’s the leaders who are lost, not the people.
2.Leaders get lost because of isolation, delusion, arrogance, plain stupidity, etc., but above all because they become obsessed with imposing their authority, instead of truly leading.
3.Incidentally, leading is helping people achieve a shared vision, not telling people what to do.
4.It is not possible for a leader to understand and lead people when the leader’s head is high in the clouds or stuck firmly up his backside.
5.That is to say – loyalty to leadership relies on the leader having a connection with and understanding of people’s needs and wishes and possibilities. Solutions to leadership challenges do not must lie in the leader’s needs and wishes. Leadersip solutions generally lie in the needs and wishes of the followers.
6.The suggestion that loyalty and a following can be built by simply asking or forcing people to be loyal is not any basis for effective leadership.
7.Prior to expecting anyone to follow, a leader first needs to demonstrate a vision and values worthy of a following.
8.A given type of leadership inevitably attracts the same type of followers. Put another way, a leadership cannot behave in any way that it asks its people not to.
9.In other words, for people to embrace and follow modern compassionate, honest, ethical, peaceful, and fair principles, they must see these qualities demonstrated by their leadership.
10.People are a lot cleverer than most leaders think.
11.People have a much keener sense of truth than most leaders think.
12.People quickly lose faith in a leader who behaves as if points 10 and 11 do not exist.
13.People generally have the answers which elude the leaders – they just have better things to do than help the leader to lead – like getting on with their own lives.
14.A leadership which screws up in a big way should come clean and admit their errors. People will generally forgive mistakes but they do not tolerate being treated like idiots by leaders.
15.And on the question of mistakes, a mistake is an opportunity to be better, and to show remorse and a lesson learned. This is how civilisation progresses.
16.A leader should be brave enough to talk when lesser people want to fight. Anyone can resort to threats and aggression. Being aggressive is not leading. It might have been a couple of thousand years ago, but it’s not right now. The nature of humankind and civilisation is to become more civilised. Leaders should enable not obstruct this process.