Clearly, the demands of leadership today include:
- Increasing sales
- Increasing profits
- Improving customer service
- Better inventory control
- Better product quality
- Faster innovation
- And doing more with less
As a humanist, what also gives me pause is the dominant demand for shareholder value and can result in the lack of sensitivity of human values. The will to lead entails coping with the stresses of business reality while maintaining human values. The will to lead is looking in the mirror, and deciding what kind of leader you are, and how you define success, which indeed is a heavy philosophical task. As leaders, let us examine our conscience and ask ourselves if we would want our daughters or sons to work for our organizations. Our answers tells the story.
A conscious leader is a person who leads with awareness, and fosters an expanded perspective and openness to new possibilities. The leader with conscience is clearly aware of the true purpose they serve. Integrity is the basis of all their decisions, and to instill integrity throughout the company culture, and focus their awareness on desired results and not fear.
The will to lead is driven by the quest to learn, rather than proving one is always right! Are you willing to forgo always being right?
“Let people be their whole selves” – John Mackey, co-founder and CEO Wholefoods Market
Timely feedback is critical to the vibrancy and well-being of any organization. The will to lead is seeking insights at all levels, particularly employees in under-represented groups, by talking and listening about behavioral patterns makes the subconscious conscious!
The will to lead is to live with courage, and to be a champion of change. Do you view change as a positive or negative action word? Leaders must face change head on, which requires courage!
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.” – Ambrose Redmoon
The word courage derives from the Latin, cor, which means heart! The will to lead is embodied in intellect and feelings.
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anais Nin
The will to lead is seeing the talent in others and giving them the courage to find their greatness. The deeds of a leader with a true will to lead shall speak for themselves.
“The evil men do, will live long after them, while the good is interred with their bones.” – Shakespeare
Doing the right thing is the calling of the will to lead. They create a culture which empowers employees who are closest to the customer to make decisions and provides them the necessary resources.
Permit me to interject a probe about your approach to recruiting new talent:are you fast to hire and fast to fire? Do you give new associates the opportunity and time to adjust to the new environment and role? Do you provide support systems and feedback? The will to lead approach is to think long-term with employees and to find their greatness.