We’ve all heard that leaders should lead by example; that people pay more attention to our deeds than our words. This is completely true. What is implied by this truth, but not always articulated, is that people will follow whatever example we set. To be a remarkable leader then, we must make conscious choices to set the right examples – to lead in directions we want people to follow.
Processionary caterpillars are an unusual species. They travel one after the other, head to tail in their search for food. It is because of this behavior that Jean Henri Fabre, the French entomologist, conducted an experiment. He placed processionary caterpillars around the rim of a teacup one after the other in a circle. In the tea cup he placed their favorite foods, inches from their current location. Through instinct and the strength of habit, the ring of caterpillars circled the teacup for seven days, until they died from exhaustion and starvation.
They died with the food they were searching for just inches away. Because of their nature and this arrangement they all assumed someone else was leading. While we as humans are more insightful, complex and intelligent, our behavior, sadly, often mimics that of the processionary caterpillar. We follow our leaders and habits blindly, without questioning if our direction will get us where we want to go. If we are leading we often rely too much on instinct and habit. Perhaps worse, if we aren’t the assigned leader don’t think at all, assuming those who are leading are doing it well. Perhaps they are. Or perhaps you are collectively lining your own teacup.
Leadership is all about being yourself and demonstrating personal authenticity rather than learning some formula from a text book. Aspiring leaders therefore need to be true to themselves; not slavishly following other’s ideas. Role models can be powerful and it doesn't hurt to model excellence when found; executive coaching is based on this premise.
Real leaders are prepared to reveal their weakness, because they know they are not super-human. Obviously this doesn’t mean technical weaknesses or functional failings; this would fatally flaw their performance. Instead, what is meant is that leaders should reveal their personality quirks – maybe they are bad tempered in the morning, are somewhat shy with new people or a little disorganized. Such admissions show they are human and this resonates with others confirming that the leader is a person – not merely a role-holder.
"Heroes are rebels with a cause. Rebels because they challenge the traditional ways of thinking and refuse to follow the herd. They have a cause, a vision, that's larger than life." - Sharif Khan, author of Psychology of the Hero Soul.
From a small-town Polish boy born to a retired army officer to become Pope; from a hard life in Nazi occupied Poland, his mother dead of kidney and heart failure, an older brother dead from scarlet fever, to become quite possibly “man of the century.” How did such an unlikely candidate for the head of the Roman Catholic Church rise so quickly to such prominence? What leadership lessons can we learn from this global spiritual leader who so moved the world? Here is a brief timeline snap-shot of Karol Josef Wojtyla’s exemplary
People respond to good leadership! Period! It is in all aspects of our lives, not just business. A mother is a leader in her home; a son may be leader of a team sport or a daughter the leader of the debate team. A group relies on the person in charge to actually lead them to success. A true leader is highly ethical, honest and respected.
In our society we have leaders and followers. Are we born to one or the other? No! Can you hone your leadership skills? Absolutely!
Analyse Strategic Level Meetings Needs, by: considering the strategic direction and objectives, and senior level operational objectives; identifying an appropriate structure of meetings to satisfy the communication and decision making needs in these areas.
The Current Meetings Structure, by: analysing the current structure and format of senior level meetings: identifying and