Four dimensions of leadership
Today’s business literature is replete with leadership models, and an entire industry has grown up around training leaders. Leadership is arguably one of the most valuable human activities, but despite the vast literature on the subject, many people remain unable to identify the basic components that define what leadership is. it is. We intuitively know that leaders have the talent to bring people together; get them to work together effectively; to align them around a common purpose, goals and objectives; get them to cooperate and trust each other; and trust each other. We also know from experience of watching leaders in action that the generic attributes of leadership described in the literature, and the current role What a leader plays do not occur in a vacuum, but are embedded in specific historical contexts, business situations, and the organizational structures, systems, and culture within which people lead (Elliot Jaques and Stephen Clement, executive leadership(Arlington, VA: Cason Hall, 1994, p. xiv ff. and 6 ff.).
Research and field analysis have shown that leadership has four interdependent dimensions.
- Expertise, Experience and Wisdom
- Ability to solve problems
- Personality, core beliefs and values
- Awareness of self and others
The first dimension of leadership (Expertise, Experience, and Wisdom) includes education, expertise, experience in specific industries and markets, and a track record of effective leadership in organizations with various numbers of employees and management levels (Elliot Jaques, Organization required, Baltimore, MD: 2006). Over time, managerial wisdom emerges as sound, experienced judgment about how organizations and industries work, what motivates people, what customers and suppliers really need and want, and how to work effectively at the top management levels. tall.
The second dimension of leadership (Problem Solving Ability) is about having the right level of “intellectual power” to effectively perform the level of complexity of the job and task a person is assigned. Job and task complexity is defined as: a) the number of variables operating in a situation, b) the ambiguity of these variables, c) their rate of change over time, d) the extent to which they are intertwined so that they have to be unraveled to be seen, e) the person’s ability to identify and control the salient variables once known, and f) the time horizon of the work in terms of days, months and years (Jaques, Organization required, p. 24 et seq. and Jacques and Clement, executive leadership, p. XIV et seq.).
The third dimension of leadership (personality, core beliefs, and values) manifests as patterns of behavior and interaction, unspoken assumptions, intrinsic motivators, and underlying patterns of how leaders view themselves, other people, and the world around them ( see Mark Bodnarczuk, Breckenridge Type Indicator (TM)). There is no “correct” personality or set of core beliefs and values for a given leadership position, rather the question is: a) to what extent do they help a person work effectively, or b) do they reveal biases in decision making? of decisions. , predictable errors in judgment, or patterns of inappropriate behavior? A key indicator that a person has a mature understanding of this dimension of leadership is the degree to which they: a) avoid using what Collins calls thinking of one or the otherand b) instead of practicing both-and-thinking (JimCollins, built to last, New York: Harper Business, 1994, p. 43 et seq.).
The fourth dimension of leadership (Awareness of Self and Others) is based on timeless principles found in Jim Collins’ best-selling book, Good to excellent (JimCollins, Good to excellent, New York: Harper Business, 2001). Collins began his research on Good to excellent with a bias against leadership. He told his research team that the fact that “great companies had great leaders” was self-evident and not an interesting finding. But his research showed that really great companies had a fundamentally different type of leader (what he called a Level 5 leader) and these people were characterized by professional will and fierce resolve combined with personal humility. Level 5 leaders put aside self-interest and instead focus on building a sustainable organization and preparing others to succeed, not fail. Level 5 leaders know how to look inward in the mirror of personal responsibility when things go wrong, and they know how to give credit to others when things go well (Collins, Good to excellent, p. 33 et seq.). The key question is: “How does one become the kind of leader that Collins describes in Good to excellent“Collins argues that Level 5 leaders exhibit a pattern of personal development in which the ego-centric drive required to rise to the top of corporate America morphs into the paradoxical combination of professional will, fierce resolve, and humility. , but does not offer any systematic approach to becoming a Level 5 leader: it is beyond the scope of this study Our view is that the fourth dimension of leadership (Awareness of Self and Others) is the key to become a Level 5 Leader.
The four dimensions of leadership are an interdependent set of competencies, skills, and characteristics that enable leaders to bring people together; get them to work together effectively; to align them around a common purpose, goals and objectives; get them to cooperate and trust each other; and trust each other. As mentioned above, the generic attributes of leadership described in the literature, and the Current role that a leader plays on a day-to-day basis do not occur in a vacuum, but are embedded in specific historical contexts, business situations, and the organizational structures, systems, and culture within which people lead. Consequently, the four dimensions of leadership must always be contextualized and applied to the real-life situations and challenges that leaders face.