I’d shied away from continually defining or, should I say, redefining leadership? After all, who am I to challenge the big voices in history and present culture? Then again, why shouldn’t I be doing that? Why shouldn’t you be doing that? Redefining leadership is something that we all need to be doing. If we continue to revisit technology and culture, why can’t leadership be included in the mix?
Redefining leadership might suggest coming up with a new definition. It may also mean questioning the accepted norms and definitions. This applies in thought and deed. This was the heart behind the Leadership Heretic blog, which I, sort of, shutdown. Well, ‘sort of’ because I moved all the content onto this blog.
I did that, in part, for practical reasons. I had and to an extent still, have limited ‘bandwidth’. I can only create a limited amount of content. One of the questions I’m asking myself is, “Did I start being afraid?” Afraid to voice contrary opinions? Did I succumb to the fear of being judged?
I’ve recently been reminded that ‘changing the world’, which I plan to do, demands contrarians. Innovation and changing the world depends on people who continually dare to ask, “Why should it be this way?”. It needs us to have disdain for thinking and action which has become acceptable.
It is not secret that leaders who love, celebrate and preserve the status quo will soon be the centrepieces of monuments. Not the nice kind of monuments, but exhibitions of folly and irrelevance. Examples of what not to be.
Redefining leadership is not only about coming up with something new. It is a way of leading. Being content in discontent and finding comfort in the good kind of restlessness. A restlessness that keeps searching for more and better. For greater. Greater not for ego’s sake, but for greater people and organisations.
A Greater pursuit of those things, which will catapult humanity to be better. Organisations serving communities better with each day. All utopian, right? No. Every true leader lives in two universes at the same time the present and utopia. His wrestle is always seeking something from utopia to invade the present. The reality that most cannot see.
This is why every leader must never, can never be afraid to redefine leadership. As she polishes the lens often. She only reminds herself what she wants to see happen but she helps others see. There is always a greater way. Redefining leadership is something every leader must always do.
Leader, when was the last time you revisited what leading means for you? (Click to Tweet)
What you believe about leadership, in a profound way, shapes those you lead, your enterprise and society. Leadership is not about you or your bubble. It is about your society, nation and the world.
Posterity’s reality is shaped in the thinking and inner world of leaders today. (Click to Tweet)
You don’t only determine the profits of your enterprise. You shape more than the products you design. You impact more than those who read the words you write or hear the words you say. Though from a distance, posterity is eavesdropping. As you reflect on what you do or make, and how you do it, what message is posterity receiving?
The best we can do for posterity is continue to reflect. Where has past leadership taken us? Where are we now? Where are we headed? Leadership shapes more than the political landscape. What kinds of stewards are we of the influence we have?
Redefining leadership is something every leader must always. (Click to Tweet)
For the things that are wrong in our organisations, society, and world at large, leadership must be held accountable. There’s a leader who has settled, accepted that what is required of him, and others like him will suffice. He forgets that what got us where we are, will not get us to utopia.
Unless we always revisit the questions: “What is leadership? What does leadership look in this instance? Is what we believe and practice about leadership what we should continue to esteem?”
Redefining leadership also speaks into what leaders become or should be. So, have you arrived? If yes, welcome to your demise. If not, what changes do you need to make as a leader? Answering this, and making changes takes courage.
Redefining leadership for yourself and organisation, takes courage. Courage. Will you dare again?