May 27

Developing Your Leadership Point of View

Heinz Landau
Heinz Landau is a seasoned business leader who has gained valuable working and leadership experience on three different continents.

I just finished reading the book “Helping People Win At Work: A Business Philosophy Called “Don’t Mark My Paper, Help me Get an A” by Ken Blanchard and Garry Ridge. One tool described in the book caught my eye and made me do some search on it.

According to research by Noel Tichy, the American leadership guru and professor from the University of Michigan, effective leaders have a clear, teachable leadership point of view and are willing to share it with and teach it to others, particularly the people with whom they work. Tichy feels strongly that learning, teaching and leading are intertwined and, therefore, should be considered inherent parts of everyone’s leadership description.

Why everyone’s? According to Tichy, everyone is a leader in some part of their job or life. Whenever you attempt to influence someone else’s beliefs, thinking, or behaviour, you are engaging in leadership.

Ken Blanchard, the American leadership expert, has developed a 7 step process for determining your leadership point of view. It is described in his book “Leading at a Higher Level”. You need to come up with answers to the following 7 questions:

1. Who are the influencers (leaders) in your life?

When we ask people who most impacted their lives or who are their role models, seldom do they mention leaders in their company. Often, they will talk about their parents or other relatives. This is an experience I have made very often, since I ask that question regularly in job interviews.

I myself would have mentioned my father, since his loyalty (he spent his entire working life, more than 40 years, with one company) and his hard work are inspiring me.

2. Think of your life purpose. Why are you here and what do you want to accomplish?

Not only some organizations don’t have a clear purpose and sense of what business they are in. And only a few people have a clear sense of their life’s purpose.

3. Which of your core values will guide your behaviour as you attempt to live your life “on purpose”?

It has been said that the most important thing in life is to decide what’s most important. We all value different things. Therefore, try to come up with what you think your 3 or 4 most important values are. You should also rank them. The same as what you do with company values where e.g.  integrity ranks ahead of financial gains.

4. Given what you have learned from past leaders, your life purpose, and your core values, what are your beliefs about leading and motivating people?

Your beliefs are the essence of your leadership point of view. These should flow naturally from the people who have influenced you and from your purpose and values.

5. What can your people expect from you?

Leadership is not something you do to people, it’s something you do with people. Letting people know what they can expect from you underscores the idea that leadership is a partnership process.It gives people a picture of what your behaviour will look like under your leadership.

6. What do you expect from your people?

Because leading is a partnership process, it is perfectly reasonable – in fact, it’s imperative – that you let people know what you expect from them. It gives people a picture of what their behaviour will look like under your leadership.

7. How will you set an example for your leadership?

Your leadership point of view should let others know how you will set an example for the values and behaviours you are encouraging. As most parents know, people learn from your behaviour, not from your words. Leaders must walk their talk. Developing a leadership point of view, by following the method above, creates a clear path for you to follow.

I am excited to find the answers for the above questions for myself. This will require some hard reflective work, but the reward will be huge. It provides a starting point for anyone who is passionate about being a fine leader.

I am excited to find the answers for the above questions for myself. This will require some hard reflective work, but the reward will be huge. It provides a starting point for anyone who is passionate about being a fine leader.

Tichy wrote in “The Cycle of Leadership: How Great Leaders Teach Their Companies to Win”, “The very act of creating a Teachable Point of View makes people better leaders. … Leaders come to understand their underlying assumptions about themselves, their organizations, and business in general. When implicit knowledge becomes explicit, it can then be questioned, refined, and honed, which benefits both the leaders and the organizations.”

I will share the answers to the above questions, my leadership point of view, with my colleagues. This will enable them to know the person who is behind the position better. And, at the same time, it will be a good example of authentic and caring leadership.

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 27th, 2010 at 00:03 and is filed under Leadership. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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  1. Rahul says:

    One of the precious WIAL cionhacg concepts, emphasized by Dr. Bea, is that of leaving team members at choice. And though there are certain structural elements that must be adhered to, the at-choice notion brings forth at least two options for this challenge:1. Ask the team, Who would like to respond to the question, What leadership skills be beneficial to us as non-leaders on this team’ ? This might offer the opportunity to reflect on the various leadership skills and choose some of them that might apply.2. Similar to Cleo’s contribution, it might be appropriate to ask the team what teaming (or communication or cionhacg skills) would help the team be successful? Remembering that one of the core tenets of AL is to promote learning, leaving participants at-choice in what they prefer to learn can be motivational and energizing.

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