THE FOUR IMPERATIVES OF GREAT LEADERSHIP
Welcome to my first blog. We shall be posting on regular basis thought provoking articles on leadership, staff training and development, growth and change management, capacity building among others. In this fist blog, we shall explore the Four imperatives of great leadership that are vital for any organization that aspires to move from being good to being great, from being average to being superior, from obscurity to a market leader in her industry.
- Clarify Purpose
According to management and personal Development guru, Stephen Covey (now deceased), this is the first dimension to be addressed on the journey of an organization towards greatness. A sage once remarked, when purpose is not clear, misuse is inevitable. The first agenda item for a leader is to provide answer to the question of purpose. Why are we here? What is our purpose? What mission are we embarking on? Is it clear to all staff and other stakeholders?
Equally vital is for the staff (internal stakeholders) to be able to clearly know the organization’s purpose and how their individual roles fit into the bigger picture, right from the lowest ranking employee to the office of the chairman of the organization.
There is no point having titles whose roles are not clear even to the holders of the same much less to the rest of the team members.
The purpose needs to be communicated till it is clear to all with no room for ambiguities.
- Align Systems
After clarifying purpose, the systems and processes that are used to achieve the same should be the next issue of concern to the leadership. A deliberate review of the same with a view to aligning it including the sub systems to seamlessly connecting the same and removing any bottle necks to the business. These bottle necks or bureaucracies often cause loss of precious man hours, reduced staff morale, increased Turnaround time (TAT) and eventual loss of business.
The systems shall vary from industry to industry but shall largely include Operations, Communications, Accounting and Finance, credit controls, supply chain management, quality assurance, Human resource among others.
The system alignment should be done while considering the safety and security environment within which an organization operates.
- Unleash Talent
Every individual is a bundle of latent potential awaiting the right environment to be expressed. Majority of staff especially when newly employed genuinely desire the best for the company and the employer, they only start to hold back when they realize that their efforts and opinions do not matter and therefore they just do the minimum to get a long as they await the next pay check. What a wasted opportunity for improvement!
To get the best out of your staff, encourage them by appreciating their efforts and little contribution, give some lee way for staff to exercise their ingenuity and creativity within reasonable open working environment.
- Inspire trust
Long lasting business are built on the solid foundation of trust, when your customers realize that you are first concerned about their wellbeing and common good before your profit considerations, they tend to not only come for repeat business but also refer their friends and families as well.
The issue of trust is equally vital for your internal customers, your employees. Do you have their trust? Can they count on you?
John Maxwell, the author of the best seller Developing the leader within you remarked ‘They will not care how much you know until they know how much you care’
Bringing all together
Organizations that desire to break the limits and move from being average to industry giants in this era of cut throat competition will do well to look at these imperatives. From observation and market trend, you do not need to do anything out of the norm to be out of business, all you have to do is to remain good and average as the competition adopts better ways to serve and connect with their customers. The onus for being great lies with the leadership and observing these principles of clarifying purpose, aligning systems, unleashing talent and inspiring trust shall prove a great start
In our next blog, we shall explore ways of building and inspiring trust both internally and externally as this forms the cornerstone for any business that would be successful and leave a legacy
About the author
Willis Amach is a career banker, life coach and motivational speaker based in Bungoma Kenya. He is an Alumni of Kenyatta University, School of Business
Send your feedback and comments to Willis.email@example.com