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What kind of a leader or aspiring leader am I? This article is about a few key parameters that we can use to measure our leadership attitude.
Leadership Platform uses the term “seamless leader” to describe a specific kind of leader that we believe most of us can become. Several of these universal principles have been discussed in articles in this column in the past.
See how you measure against these standards. But first, consider a seamless attitude.
A seamless attitude is a positive attitude coupled with the mastery of universal principles that govern the ability to move barriers to full potential and excellence.
For the many of us who have not been blessed with a constant positive attitude, we have a message of hope. Not all seamless leaders are positive all the time.
In fact, we know top performers who are very cautious by instinct because of their backgrounds and personalities.
However, they have one thing in common: they consistently refuse to succumb to negative moods and negative perceptions.
They work constantly on a way of life that is not afraid to face barriers, so-called problems and challenges. Sometimes a person who is positive all the time may be a loose cannon and not necessarily a seamless leader.
Ultimately, though, seamless leadership orientation is about believing in the potential of others, society, self and in universal principles. A negative attitude, if left to dominate, is a killer of seamless leadership.
These are the attributes and attitudes that form part of a seamless attitude approach to life and leadership:
1. A heart-felt attitude to universal values. As discussed previously in this column, believed values are an imperative of human behaviour. It is impossible to perform above our believed values.
We cannot live without believed values. This means in practice that if you and I are not committed to universal values that are worthwhile, then we will naturally default to negative values that erode our ability to be seamless leaders.
Negative values such as greed, selfishness, corruption, arrogance, doubts and fears prevail in our lives when we are not emotionally and mentally committed to universal values. We should probably trust more in many of the values taught us by our mothers!
2. A caring, sharing and respecting attitude. Obviously it is not always easy to be caring, sharing and respectful of the beliefs and feelings of others. Yet all of us want to be “good”, in spite of macho-man posturing.
Seamless leadership is about sharing with others and respecting the feelings and opinions of others in the process. Our country is in dire need of leaders and individuals who are committed to share all they have and to respect others.
3. A contact management attitude. A contact management attitude is about a profound respect for the universal contact factor.
What an immense difference it makes to us when we are sold on making contact with others as opposed to trying to progress by ourselves or allowing our negative feelings and judgments to fester into sores and scars.
Most misunderstandings and resentments are a direct consequence of not making contact with others!
Just this week I resolved several thorny issues in my own life and in the lives of others by obedience to the contact factor principle.
4. Commitment to a mature process-oriented attitude. All the seamless attributes mentioned in the article are closely related and interdependent. A key to seamless leadership is the commitment to positive processes that work for us.
If we are not committed to positive processes to address our challenges, then we will naturally default to negative processes of making snap and emotional and even fear-driven judgements that could cause us much pain and damage as leaders.
To the seamless leader, a positive process-based approach to situations is a believed value, not a “nice to have”. We need to follow the process; in other words, we need to acquire the habit of looking at both possible negatives and possible positives before committing to our aspirations and putting direction (plans) and structure (organisation and resources) in place.
At Leadership Platform we use the term “jumping the chain” to refer to the poor habit of jumping to conclusions without going through the chain of the process. This is common sense, but many people are enslaved to negative processes and do not like to complete the chain before making final decisions. We see this daily, even from top politicians and in media reports.
5. An attitude of commitment to leadership movement imperatives. For any situation to move forward (a core duty of leaders), we need to obey the universal law of movement, which states that “all movement is governed by the integration of motivation, direction and supporting structure”.
In a seamless leadership context, we would aspire to integration of motivation in our organisation, integration of direction (plans, vision, objectives) and integration of supporting structure (systems, resources, financial control, staff, etc).
A seamless leader will not disregard any of the three legs of successful movement.
6. Attitude of commitment to cost of non-compliance (CONC) compensation leadership. – Seamless leadership has a necessary CONC factor to consider all the time. After all our efforts as leaders we are sometimes confronted with the situation that an employee or a market-related influence or something or other cannot be brought into line with the harmony of a successful organisation.
This is when seamless leaders decide to apply the CONC factor. They measure the cost of non-compliance and take the necessary steps to remove the barrier.
This may mean letting a valuable employee go because the cost of that person’s non-compliance to the needs of the organisation becomes too high.
7. Attitude of passion. A lack of passion in a leader may be a serious liability. Enthusiasm sells, the old saying goes. It is also true that a lack of passion, no matter how competent the leader, also conveys a message to all and sundry.
Passion generally indicates a sense of authority, confidence and drive. A lack of passion generally indicates to people around us a hidden weakness or lack of confidence and personal authority. Passion is closely related to the last attribute of seamless leadership.
8. Attitude of commitment to self-knowledge and universal realities. This is where our passion mostly comes from. Regarding self-knowledge, psychologist, Dr Taylor Hartman, author of The Color Code, claims that passion is closely related to self-knowledge and understanding of our basic personality motive.
Over and above self-knowledge, seamless leaders manifest sensitivity to universal as opposed to just physical values. The attributes mentioned in this article are in fact all universal by nature.
These eight attributes of a seamless leader are within our grasp. All of us have these attributes to some extent. How do you rate? We appreciate your comments in response to the article.
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