Leadership: We Have it Backwards

In her commencement speech, at our Purpose Leadership Forum (PLF) class graduation, Angie Murenga reminded us that we cannot lead others if we cannot lead ourselves. Ouch!

Was there ever a stage in your leadership journey where this rang true? Do you see how we can have it backwards? We are busy leading and focusing on improving our leadership of others (often as a means to an organizational end) before we do the work of effectively leading Self.

To be honest, for several years leading to that day, I had been all over the place as a person, yet I carried on with my “leadership responsibilities" with others. And this sentence coming from Pastor Angie's mouth was the last thing I wanted to hear. But I did hear it. And so the hard, inward work of Self-Leadership began.

It's not like I needed to work on all aspects of Self-Leadership but, as I had learned the hard way too many times before my friend Colleta Ndunguru-Mnzava enrolled and actually paid for me to attend PLF if any aspect is compromised, everything will be sabotaged.

And at that time, my struggles with Self-Leadership were sabotaging my leadership influence everywhere else.

I created the Purpose-Driven Leadership Development Framework to help you through what I have come to perceive as the 4-Stages of Leadership Development, beginning with Self-Leadership, then Others (Mentor-Leadership), followed by Organizational Leadership, and finally Industry Leadership.

Each Leadership stage seeks to add growth to the previous one so that from the foundation of Self-Leadership, you can grow to Lead Others, then graduate to organizational Leadership, and ultimately, Industry Leadership. Each stage adds to your leadership toolkit, helping you to effectively steer towards desired outcomes.

Under self-Leadership, you seek to grow your capacity by developing your character, competence, and personal daily routine.

In Leading Others, you seek to grow your Influence, and therefore need to develop in Emotional Intelligence, Trustworthiness, Mentor-Leadership, and Organization Skills.

Organizational Leadership requires you to elevate your leadership to influence organizational results by developing in Strategic Thinking, Organizational Development, establishing Management Systems, Collaboration, and ensuring Business Continuity.

Finally, at the stage of influencing Industry Leadership, appreciating the collective work of numerous stakeholders to the current environment, your Leadership Development focuses on growing your Impact. This requires you to develop and distinguish yourself in Thought Leadership, mobilize Stakeholder Ownership, pull together around a Legacy Initiative, and solidify your leadership contribution through Systemic Adaptation.

Each Leadership Development quality carries a definition and behavioral traits that explain what one can tangibly expect to see and experience.

Of course, in implementation, Leadership Development is not always so easily clustered into neat separate boxes. We develop several leadership competencies in parallel, often rising to meet the challenge when leadership of others, organization, industry calls. And your Leadership Growth aims although summarized into four (Capacity, Influence, Results, Impact), in explanation, are not restricted to the definition of the four words.

The beauty of the Purpose-Driven Leadership Development Framework is that it doesn’t disqualify nor demote you for being at one Leadership Development stage yet be struggling with leadership qualities of an earlier stage. If that is your case (as it is mine), the Framework acts as a coaching tool to identify the areas that need help so that you can strengthen these, even as you progress with delivering at your current Leadership Development stage.

In Summary, the Purpose-Driven Leadership Development Framework serves to:

1. guide us on the order of priority (Self, Others, Organization, Industry)

2. identify the critical leadership competencies and tools for each stage of Leadership Development

3. give a visual of prerequisite leadership qualities for current and entry to the next stage of Leadership Development.

Over to you:

  • What stage of Leadership Development are you in?

  • Which Leadership quality do you feel you need to focus on developing so that you can lead more effectively?

  • What leadership qualities would you add to the list?

Please leave your comments below.

I think it is noble that you are intentional about developing yourself as a leader. I want to encourage you to save, use, and share the Purpose-Driven Leadership Development Framework to develop and grow your leadership influence and impact.



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