Is Leadership Simple? Part II

Leadership used to be simple: leaders told people what to do and they did it. There were leaders and followers and life was good. That was until people realised leaders didn’t always get it right and leaders, themselves, realised the need to listen before making decisions.

In 1998, a breakthrough was made when Daniel Goleman highlighted the importance of ‘emotional intelligence’ and the need for leaders to be aware of, and empathise with, those around them.

He has now taken another step and suggests the role of a leader is to direct attention towards what matters and argues that to do so they need to be focussed.

The good news is that the ability to focus can be learned, so, in theory, we can now all become leaders.

All we have to do, apparently, is practice the three elements of new leadership. They are:

  • an inward focus
  • a focus on others
  • a focus on the wider world

An inward focus helps us develop an inner sense of purpose and direction; a focus on others informs us and helps build relationships; and a focus on the wider world ensures we are aware of what is happening around us.

An Inward Focus

By focussing inward we can pay more attention to our ‘gut feelings’ and listen to our ‘inner voice’, as a way to remain grounded when everything is changing around us and we experience turmoil.

The ability to focus inwards enables us to clarify our core goals without allowing setbacks or distractions to derail or side track us from what we want to do.

A Focus on Others

By focussing on others we are better able to build trust and develop lasting relationships, which enable us to build teams and supportive networks.

The ability to focus on others helps us understand other people’s point of view and enables better two-way communication and engagement.

A Focus on the Wider World

By focussing on the wider world we become aware of the effectiveness of our decisions and the need to understand how today’s decisions will affect the future.

The ability to focus on the wider world enables us to gather information from a variety of sources and consider how what may appear as unrelated facts can affect the future.

SO, to be a leader in today’s world all you need to do is focus: perhaps, once again, leadership has become simple.

What do you think?

Is leadership simple?

Look forward to your comments.