I would suggest that leaders are not created but rather, emerge. I would qualify this statement with the contention that once a leader emerges there may be potential for enhancing the effectiveness and sustainability of the leadership. But I would suggest that the coaching modality per se cannot create leaders de novo. Leadership emerges when an action or entity is owned. Ownership is therefore in my opinion the sine qua non for leadership.
When reviewing the variables which appear to be operative in regard to emerging leadership, two clear contenders emerge out front – purpose and self-esteem/self-efficacy. In other words there needs to be a goal or purpose for taking up the reigns of leadership together with the required self-esteem/self-confidence to drive the process.
The sustaining of the leader in the leadership role would then require several other necessary components. These include personal reward, a sense of achievement and value contribution – making something better that it was before you engaged with it.
In the course of my own research I have come to define these parameters in the context of our Five Core Elements:
1. Curiosity, meaning and purpose
2. Self-esteem/self efficacy
3. Reward – task engagement reward; task mastery reward
4. Achievement – aspired achievement; achievement greater than expected
5. Value contribution
These elements can be regarded as the universal platform upon which effective leadership is based. There is however an area which can create challenges but in so doing provides coaching access to enhance the brand of leadership towards greatness and even visionary. The challenge is founded upon a root of fear. I refer here to fear of loss and / or fear of losing recognition and the accolades that accompany it. From this place emerges an over-controlling leader and one insensitive to the nuances of others and to the environment at large. This leader is driven by own gratification and therefore self-interest, often at the expense of others. By its nature, this style of leadership is devoid of self-awareness and sensitive awareness of the environment and is consequently self-limiting.
It follows that if the component of sensitivity could be coached into this individual, the quality and sustainability of the leadership could be greatly enhanced. The intervention rests upon neutralizing excessive fear and thereby freeing up some engagement potential for other elements of the prevailing dynamic. This process is achieved through the implementation of the delegation of activities. Once this hurdle is overcome, facilitated engagement with other individuals and entities in the dynamic would lead to greater awareness and consequently, sensitivity. This process may be driven by incorporating the sensitivity component within the category of achievement. Ultimately however, this enhancing component is incorporated in value contribution – making self, others and the greater environment better than they were before engaging with them.
The component which separates great leaders from visionary leaders is the incorporation of a sense of gratitude. Gratitude reflects an acknowledgement that there are forces and influences greater than ourselves and over which we have little control. The state of mind that emerges is one of sensitivity and service in the face of personal ownership and responsibility.
Copyright reserved – Ian Weinberg 2019