Fredzimmy linked to an interesting Harvard Business Review article on leadership the other day. The main point of the article is that (drum roll please) leadership is not something that is reserved for those in the top position in an organization. Sure, those people are “leaders” by job description. But the idea of leadership is much broader.
So what is it? According tot he article, it is a mindset. Something we can all plug into and use. Great. But that doesn’t answer the question. I think leadership is best defined by its function, to get results. If we need to achieve a result, we need a mindset that will identify, address and overcome all of the barriers to achieving it. That is what we call leadership.
Usually we think about leadership when we are already in crisis. But what about leadership in our day to day life? Dan Pink teaches that to live well (a result) we need to be motivated. Dan Coyle adds that we need to be motivated to get started doing the repetitive work to learn the skills needed to excel. So, is leadership then something that builds this kind of motivation? Using Dan Pink’s model, those things that show us paths to purpose, mastery and autonomy?
That may sound a bit abstract. But think about it. If the two Dan’s are right, finding these foundations will start us off on life long learning paths. Our individual paths. Our empowered and connected paths. That sounds pretty cool. Best of all it sounds gentle, non-threatening, and best of all, doable.