Define leadership more broadly. Anyone can lead, at any level.
Landing a promotion does not automatically make you a better leader of other people. It confers upon you greater authority, but leadership springs from what you do with your expanded authority. Said another way, it is how you behave as a manager that makes you a leader.
People who know Bovo-Tighe know that we believe anyone, in any position in any organization, has the opportunity to lead within his or her area of responsibility.
Now we have found proof in a study by the American Management Association that organizations worldwide are coming around to the view that leadership is a mindset, a mode of behavior, that has very little to do with job titles and levels of responsibility. You can find the article we found here.
Here are some of the findings:
- Fifty-three percent of the respondents now consider individuals to be leaders not according to their authority but their impact.
- Within that 53%, 14% agreed that a leader is “anyone, whether they manage others or not, who is a top-performer in his or her specific role.”
“Our latest findings suggest we’re reaching a tipping point where pace-setting companies now recognize that the term ‘leader’ applies to a far broader group than just those at the top of the organization chart,” said Jennifer Jones, Director at AMA Enterprise.
We say “thank you” to the survey respondents who shared these views. This “anyone can lead” mindset has been a core belief of ours, and the goal of our Foundations of Excellence development philosophy, for 25 years. Our own clients would agree, as they have benefited from its application profitably all this time. It is nice to hear that increasing numbers of people are starting to adopt it professionally around the world.
Here is another great quote from the press release that was music to our ears:
The emerging leadership challenge is to master key human skills, such as being able to work with all kinds of people. “There isn’t a single way to achieve this, of course, but mastering communications skills, collaborating on a project, focusing on objectives, sharing responsibility, being thoughtful, or even having a sense of humor may be ways of becoming a successful leader, and not just trying to assert authority. Interpersonal skills will no doubt move to the center of more leadership development.”
We disagree that this is an “emerging” leadership challenge, and we have been moving interpersonal skills to the center of leadership development for decades. But the middle part, about the mix of soft skills required for true leadership, rings very true. And we know from experience that people who “get it” reap competitive advantage professionally.
We encourage everyone at least explore the fact that encouraging leadership and accountability at all levels is the right mindset to adopt about leadership development! If you want our help with that exploration, please give us a call!