Leadership talk is everywhere. And I’ve discovered that it’s worth listening to people who have dedicated their whole career to discovering how it really works. I recently had the pleasure of listening to Bob Anderson, the founder of the Leadership Circle, speak to the nature of leadership creates lasting impact in the world.
According to him, the purpose of leadership is to scale an organization’s creativity and capability to create outcomes that matter.
The Leadership Circle Profile provides a lens through which leaders get feedback on their creative strengths and reactive tendencies. If you aggregate those results, they help us to discover what great leadership looks like in practice.
The Leadership Circle looked at the leadership profiles of executives across a wide range of organisations, They examined what their direct reports identified as the strengths and weaknesses of these executives. Then they took a closer look at the top and the bottom 10% of these executives. In other words, they focused on the most creative and the most reactive leaders. And let me tell you, what they found was remarkable!
Because the top and the bottom 10% of leaders scored similarly on a range of strengths:
- Passion Drive
- Strong Networker
- Domain / Technical Knowledge
- Results Focused
- Intelligent / Brilliant
- Creative / Innovative
However, creative leaders showed strengths reactive leaders did not share:
- Strong People Skills
- Personable / Approachable
- Positive Attitude
Those four strengths share a common denominator: they are about people.
If James Carville were here, he’d summarise by writing “It’s the relationship, stupid!” which we won’t do because calling people stupid breaks relationship. Fundamentally, it’s about how we create and maintain connnection. And how we use the engagement that is generated when connection meets direction.
And they discoverd one other cricual thing: The strengths of reactive leaders were cancelled out by their weaknesses, literally nullifying them.
Why does this matter?
Anderson states: “The organization will not perform at a higher level than the consciousness of its leadership.” Therefore, leaders need to work on recognising when they are in a reactive mindset and they need to practice stepping from the reactive into a creative mindset.
Doing the work enables them to shift from reacting to external events to connecting to purpose and values. And this is worth it, because it allows them to articulate a vision and to enrol others into it. It also allows them to move forward together with those they lead, and of collectively creating the outcomes which matter most.
At Choose Leadership, we work with leaders to help them to better understand how their thinking processes translate into a productive or unproductive style of leadership. We help them shift into creative leadership which allows them to lead their organisation to thrive.
Contact us today to discover how we can support your organisation to create the outcomes you want.