In an earlier post I highlighted the potential demise of leaders when they confuse the attention they get from those they lead. Leaders must never mistake the attention they get, as focus on them but realise that it is to enable they function, which, ultimately is to see vision realised for the enterprise they lead. Keeping perspective on leadership as a function is something every leader must do.
Leadership is like any other function in an enterprise. I say with the backdrop that every function or component exists because it is not only necessary but also critical to the success of the enterprise. If a function is not important or mission critical, then it is an unnecessary deviation and or misappropriation of resources.
The same way leaders can mistake attention on them; enterprises can make leadership the object and not the means. As I’ve already said, leadership is a critical function. Organisations have lost perspective on leadership when:
Leadership does not have clear channels for being challenged. By this I don’t mean chaotic and disruptive challenge. What I mean, is that leaders must be willing to have their decision-making, process and other things questioned by those they lead.
Great leadership is open to making things greater. Though leaders make the last call, it this means that they are open to the perspectives and insights of those they lead.
When leaders aren’t willing to have the philosophy, perceptions, approach and perspectives challenged, they walk the fine line of making leadership the object and not an enabling function.
The area and or function of leadership must never be inaccessible or untouchable.
Some organisations tend to get more focused on who’s at the top. Don’t get me wrong it is critical to have the right people leading. The right people in the right positions are key to success of organisations.
However, when the attention of team members is only to become the leader(s) and at the expense of vision the function of leadership is undermined.
Leadership, as a function, must never be mistaken for status. Which, unfortunately, many have done and continue to do. To what extent are you passionate about making the vision of organisation happen without it caring about what the title on your door says?
Should you not care more that your enterprise serves its purpose and the people it touches than the title on your business card?
There’s always the proverbial question, “What do you think is the most important function of every organisation?” I don’t care as much as I used to about answering that question.
Rather, I focus on answering, “Is every function we have critical to our success and how so, if it is?”
When you keep asking the question of what is the most important function you might stand the danger of undermining other functions, making leadership, which is often the answer, a bully of other functions. Instead, leadership must be seen as critical and the enabler of other functions.
Leaders, help those you lead realise that their functions are valuable and they will appreciate the value of leadership.
Lead well. Keep on keeping perspective on leadership as a funtion.