Sunday, December 10, 2017

Leadership & Connectivity

Leadership is defined as the action of leading a group of people or an organization. How one leads is referred to as  leadership style, and there are many. In business, transformational and transactional leadership styles tend to be the most common.

Despite the style of leadership that we encounter or provide, the metric of effective leadership is results. Leaders publicly state agendas and goals, and through their leadership of others, converge upon those results through combined efforts and/or strategies.

Getting others motivated is at the crux of all leadership obligations. Perhaps this is why we mistakenly believe that influence, or the ability to do so, is a not only a paramount quality of good leaders, but a prerequisite to good leadership.

This notion is incorrect.

Influence, like drunkenness, wears off, and has an equally sobering affect. Leaders who prove to be adept at influencing others in the moment, can also be manipulative, if not socioptathic; preying on the desires, fears and concerns of those that they lead, whether by offering false hope, or intimidating alternatives. This is why we mistakenly buy into the belief that influence is synonymous with power. It's also what allows unscrupulous leaders to abuse it.

The ultimate objective, and most genuine and sustainable trait of effective leadership and leaders, is connectivity; the ability to establish real and meaningful connections with those that they lead. This connectivity is real power. It enables them to transcend differences and unify based upon shared motivations to resolve issues, solve problems, and tackle challenges with the understanding of why they are doing that they do, or what they are asked to do.

A leader is only as effective as they are connected, and leadership is only as impactful as leaders are genuine. How genuine this leadership is correlates with the degree of their connectivity. That degree of connectivity (or lack thereof) determines the quality of leadership.