Show me an organization that is thriving, I will show you healthy and aligned leadership. Show me an organization that is really struggling, I will show you poor or inadequate leadership. Leadership is such a broad term and many times misunderstood.
The definition of leadership is the action of leading a group of people or an organization. That is also very broad in definition. There are thousands of books on leadership. On Amazon, there are over 60,000 titles that have leadership as a category. Needless to say, this topic is covered from multiple perspectives.
Many times we use leadership as a catch all for other issues within an organization. No matter the problem or issue, it comes back to leadership. I believe we have a leadership crisis in our country. Many people assume leadership roles without the fundamental skills to be an effective leader. We typically take the top performer and promote them to leader without first equipping them to lead. Then we get frustrated when they fail as the leader. I see this a lot in sales leadership. You take your top performing sales person and promote them to sales director or VP with the expectation that they will multiply themselves in the rest of the team. Rarely does that happen. Many times they fail and you end up losing your sales leader and your top producer.
Liz Wiseman has an excellent book on leadership called Multipliers. She describes leaders as multipliers or diminishers and gives very specific descriptions of each. According to Wiesman, "leaders can have an infectious effect on the intelligence in their organization and spark viral intelligence, he responded, “These leaders are like amplifiers. They are intelligence amplifiers.” Yes, certain leaders amplify intelligence. These leaders, whom we have come to call Multipliers, create collective, viral intelligence in organizations. Other leaders act as Diminishers and deplete the organization of crucial intelligence and capability."
Is your leadership team a team of multipliers or diminishers? At ProActive, one of our first agenda items is to help you develop a leadership team that can take your organization to the next level. Critical evaluation is an important part of the process. What are you doing to develop your leaders to be the amplifiers of your organizational intelligence. There are four critical leadership skills that must be developed.
Communication - all forms
These are the four most critical skills of successful leaders.
What are you doing to develop your leaders?
Wiseman, Liz; McKeown, Greg. Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter (p. 6). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.