Five Key Practices For Developing Leadership Capacity

It is an enduring fact of life that the few will forever lead the many. The world we live in is beset with the few that mislead and tyrannise the helpless many. But a powerful, undimmable ray of new evolutionary opportunities is shining upon humanity; catalysing people’s perception and personal evolution. Those who are open to this actuality are experiencing a generational opportunity to exercise their human choice to be an emergent person, engaging in the process of designing and creating their own bright future and with some, also helping others in their like struggle.

As special assistance to the well-intending emergent leader, here are five key practices to developing leadership capacity.

Key One: Developing Impartial, Fearless Perception

The first prerequisite for developing leadership is to perceive – what is happening; what is changing; what is becoming irrelevant; what is possible; the subtle and screaming presence of new opportunities…

Do you love, or do you fear the truth? Because curiously, many fear it. The reason: The controlling brains of uneducated people fear the unknown and big chunks of the truth reside in the great unknown, where the brain must cede its needing to dominate and instead, awaken its incredible new discovery capacity. Humans are custom made to forage into the unknown but there is very little education these days to prepare people to safely and constructively venture into the unknown of oneself and the vast oceans of the human possibility.

In my work as a consultant, it took me a while to mentally acclimatise to the fact that some 90% of my work with senior leaders is bound up with helping them to perceive and respond to the glaring obvious. The Nokia anecdote is one of my go-to favourites case studies: Being captive of past successes, a bunch of consummate engineers, together with a leadership team, not having the courage and refusing to internalise a screaming, obvious truth regarding the evolution of modern technology. The market then forced the point in and we all know the story.

Leaders must be able to perceive the truth and act upon it impartially and creatively, regardless of the depth of fixings and dogma that they and the people around them may be trapped in. The first act of leadership in this context is for a leader to lead oneself and the influential executives that constitute the leadership ring of a given organization into the zero-gravity zone; where the past has little to no say and the thrilling process of re-imagining and creating new futures takes centre stage.

The next big idea is desperately seeking for a mind not trapped in yesterday

Key Two: Exercising What One Believes In

Leaders take firm positions regarding a host of issues: An impartial differentiation between what is right and what is not right; being utterly committed to acting constructively; being champions of fair, equal opportunity in the context of diversity; achieving the impossible for all the right reasons…

Let your belief not be an intellectual exercise. There is a way that works wonders in exercising ones belief, every day, which is through small, deliberate, well-aimed actions. Engrave your DNA with the habit of going out of your way in small ways to make the world in and around you a better place to be in by way of investing yourself into an opportune moment, and there are plenty of those presented to us every day.

“What we do in this life echoes in eternity”

Key Three: Non-Negotiable Personal Standards

To access the domain of personal standards, let’s focus on time-keeping.

Arguably, time is a person’s most precious currency. You can borrow money when you run out of money, but you cannot borrow time when you run out of time. So how one thinks about and treats other people’s time exposes their value system: If one does not value other people’s time, they think of their time as more valuable than other people’s time. And if one does not value other people’s time like they value their own, they have a problem with their self-view and respect of others.

Which is one of the reasons why time-keeping standards live right at the heart of human behaviour and interaction.

If you wish, continue this little exploration into other territories such as cleanliness, tidiness, mannerism, thinking standards, usage of language, keeping promises and much more.

High standards built into a car assure the driver that it will always stop when hitting the breaks. High mental standards secure people around you about where you will not go

Key Four: Being an Opportunity Catalyst

New opportunities are the currency of progress. Leaders sniff, acutely so, the presence of new opportunities. Then the question is: Who is best for the job? Because it may not always be the leader. Leaders are geniuses at spotting the presence of genius in others and creating space for it to come into play. Leaders are also consummate opportunity facilitators, a vital task they will always relish to step into, to conduct with maturity and impartiality.

Leaders win by helping people win – in context, because it’s never personal as a first principle

Key Five: Being a Wise Decision-Maker

Who to place in charge of what? Which product line must be discontinued and when? How to best invest in project x? How to best go about the China operation? Who to bring close-in? What needs changing?

Some decisions are intuitive and swift, and some require thorough due diligence. Some a leader can and must make on their own; some require a fitting forum to come to – preferably never more than seven people.

Whatever you do, task yourself to act wisely and do your utmost to discover what it means in every instance. People are watching your every move…

An emerging leader is a student of wisdom

David Gommé
World Copyright 2018© David Gommé

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