Let’s say I hired the wrong person. Is it his fault, or mine? Did I have a thorough enough process, was I good enough in deciphering the codes that make up a new personality?
Or did he fake it? Without me seeing through the charade? Should I have been able to spot the liar?
As a leader, it would be very easy to blame someone else for the lack of success of employees, but I can’t push it aside. I don’t want to. The responsibility of our success is mine – my job is to match, lead, guide, coach and steer, so that we all work together like a well-oiled machine. Nobody is great at everything, so it is a leaders role to put the pieces together in the best possible way.
And when it goes wrong (it will. Of course it will. If you push people to grow and do new things, it won’t be all smooth. Don’t expect it to be.), it is a leader’s job to guide it forward in a smooth manner, ensuring individual and team growth, teaching, leading, coaching.
If you can do that as a leader, you are skilled, sensitive, smart, compassionate, generous and clever.
I strive towards that, and I learn every day.
In my view, excellence in leadership is not defined by personality type, but by values and behaviour. A willingness to share responsibility and power may be one of the key characteristics of cultural leaders in the twenty-first century, together with a drive to build strong alliances, beyond their organisation or sector, with individuals, groups and communities, from the local to the global.
This kind of “generous” leader develops and fosters relationships, rather than being fixated on command and control, and is concerned about values and behaviours, rather than status and position.
My favourite leaders display personal humility, courage, good judgment, certainty of purpose, authenticity and generosity in delivery. They share responsibility, while being ultimately accountable for the well-being of a project or organisation (and they never shy away from that).
They possess a calm resolve and emotional resilience, and are ambitious for their organisation or cause, rather than for themselves. They put the team, and the company first. They all inspire and encourage a committed team who are enabled to play to their individual strengths, while remaining unwaveringly optimistic.