Politic Options

The point of this article is to present an integrated example of leadership. I call this Holistic Leadership, one founded upon the premise that each of us must strive throughout our lifetime to become a centered person which is able to effectively use the four principal components of leadership. Of particular significance is to understand the significance of the entire and also the inter-relationships among the components and their elements.

My approach just isn’t to focus on leadership equals position in an organization (i.e., management), but instead to speak about it as being resident in just about every one of us. It is vital that any discussion on leadership be integrated with individual, team and organizational learning. Although a highly effective leader must be able to adjust her style to the circumstances and people she leads, this must also be done within the larger context of a learning culture.

So what is a learning culture? To paraphrase Peter Senge (The Fifth Discipline), a learning culture exists when folks collaborate to generate their own future. From my perspective, it means that leadership must be shared if this is to indeed happen, and that folks must work continually towards becoming holistic leaders.

The roles that people (managers and staff) play in today’s organizations have become much more dynamic. They face greater complexity within their work environments resulting from the evolving and a lot more sophisticated needs of clients; growing interdependency in the global economy; technological change; changing organizational structures and work processes; an aging population, and fiscal pressures. For those in managerial positions, these individuals must not simply be able to respond to the needs, values and aspirations of their staff, they should also anticipate changes later on.

To help their organizations thrive in a rapidly changing economy and society, everybody must practice some form of leadership. While working in a collaborative manner with colleagues is key to helping their organizations succeed within the 21st Century, enhancing one’s personal leadership is critical, which requires self-discovery and self-awareness.

Within his book Principle Centered leadership (linked web-site), Stephen Covey stresses the significance of folks achieving balance and greater fulfillment in their lives by following correct principles. Doing this gives people a base for all of their daily decisions. From a leadership perspective, this is especially important because it instills a sense of stewardship, an important element in effective leadership. As Covey states:

When folks align their personal values with correct principles, they can be liberated from old perceptions. One of the characteristics of authentic leaders is their humility, evident within their ability to take off their glasses and examine the lens objectively, analyzing how well their values, perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors align with “true north” principles.

The need has never been greater for leaders – at all levels – who are capable of functioning effectively in organizations in which diversity and interdependence have become two major yet opposing forces. This requires new behaviors for leaders if they are to achieve success inside this new and complex environment. Let’s now look at a model I have called The Holistic Leader: The 4 Components & Their Principal Elements.

20 December 2018


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