In his recent blog post on Decoding Leadership, business author and consultant Norm Smallwood laments that if you ask 30 leadership development experts to define leadership, you get 31 different answers. To make his point he recounts an experience meeting with a group of senior executives and asking the question: “What are qualities of effective leaders?” Here’s a partial list of their responses:
Authentic, Transparent, Emotional intelligence, Interpersonal effectiveness, Servant-leader, Humility, Leaders not managers, Know contingency theory by mapping response to situation, Live the 7 Habits, Build a vision, Ensure customer centricity
It was this type of experience that lead Smallwood, together with co-authors Dave Ulrich and Kate Sweetman to write Leadership Code: Five Rules to Lead By. In their new book, the authors identify what they believe are some commonalities among all of the leadership theories out there today. See if you agree:
Rule 1: Shape the future. This answers the question “where are we going?” Great leaders make sure that those around them understand the direction the company is moving in.
Rule 2: Make things happen. Turn what you know into what you do.
Rule 3: Engage today’s talent. Talent managers know how to identify, build and engage talent to get results now.
Rule 4: Build the next generation. Ensure that the organization has the longer-term competencies required for future strategic success.
Rule 5: Invest in yourself. Effective leaders cannot be reduced to what they know and do. Who they are as human beings has everything to do with how much they can accomplish with and through other people.
Do you have any other suggestions or ideas when it comes to effective leadership? Tell us what you think!