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What is real leadership?

Oct 24, 2011

Time to read = 1 minute

Time to act = Now

I was at a client recently running a leadership training course. During the tea break I went to the kitchen with a couple of the managers to grab a cup of tea. The place was a right mess. Cups and plates were everywhere, except in the dishwasher. Normally it is pretty tidy so it was obvious that the cleaner had not turned up that afternoon. It was also obvious quite a few people had been in the kitchen that afternoon and thought “what a mess”, then simply added their stuff to it!

What should we do? Well a couple of us got stuck in putting stuff in the dishwasher while another went off to reception to let them know of the problem and ask them to chase up office management. Simple but effective.

It got me thinking how often do we spot something we believe is wrong and say “someone should do something about that” when we could be taking action.
It is only by taking action, planning for other actions to happen and getting others involved that you make a real difference.

I have been running a community leaders program recently. We have had people from all walks of life who all want change to happen in an area they are passionate about. They have been on three workshops to create a compelling vision, set clear goals, plan concrete actions, identify who can help and engage these people to make the change happen.

The results we have seen are amazing. Some participants have created a mentoring group for families in deprived areas, a young cancer survivor has been raising awareness of the disease by delivering talks in schools and another has created a disability information website. All in three months.

I believe everyone has the capacity to show up as a leader in this way and that any brand or individual doing well, is now expected to demonstrate how they also are giving back to society.

Being seen to actively be involved in society and making a difference also attracts people to work with a company, and consumers to do business with it. In fact 86% of global consumers believe that a business needs to place at least equal weight on society’s interests as on business’ interests. (trendwatching.com)
We are at a turning point in our economy and all companies need to have leaders who both truly understand the nature of real leadership and the role and impact they can have in society as a whole.

The current cuts to services in the public sectorand the focus communities developing local initiatives means there is a real need for leaders to create the vision, influence and engagement to make these initiatives work.

We are in a bit of a mess. How are you going to help clean things up?

If you are interested in developing your leadership or creating more effective teams we would love to have a conversation.

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