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About Oneself ‒ That Is, How To Be A Person Who Inspires Others To Act

Written by: Agnieszka Witkowska, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

What is leadership and why is it talked about so much? Is it a study of oneself or the reality around us? How do you become a Leader and who needs it? Are there people made to be a Leader? Is it a competence or an innate predisposition?

Where do I start when I want to embark on this path of experience and responsibility? Is it the form, the task or the quality of fulfilling the role for which we choose to take responsibility?


Or do we confuse leadership with management?


We can ask ourselves many such questions.

With the following text, I want to inspire you and invite you to build your own interpretation of the term 'leadership', highlighting several approaches from which the issue can be approached.


At the 'center' of attention from both business and development perspectives, in conversations often, again, is the 'human being' ‒ as a being and as a subject. Which I am particularly pleased to see in view of the 'learning, development and experience sharing path' that I have taken.


No matter what stage of life we are currently in, each of us has our individual desires, motivations and potential. The decisions we make and where we want to focus our energy for action depend on us. Both when we learn from others and when we inspire others ‒ let us do so consciously. Only by consciously working on ourselves, learning about our needs and the mechanisms that influence our actions and motivations, will we be able to use our full potential, positively influencing and solving the challenges we face.


Looking at the ways we (who is we?) have sought and used so far to 'lead' others, it seems that the methods used so far have proven to have little or no effect. There are many definitions that attempt to describe the issue of leadership, indicating ways in which it can be achieved. So what should be taken into account? Perhaps the answers to the following questions, will bring us closer to that answer:

  • What does life require of us?

  • What do we ourselves want to be in this life?

  • What do we learn and pass on to the younger generations?

  • What does this younger generation want to learn from us and do they even want to be guided by us?

  • Or is it more about the form in which this "leadership" is exercised by us?

  • Or is it about something else?

What is really important in this issue?


Below I have collected some contemporary (selected) definitions of leadership. Stop by the one that is closest to you. Take from each, that 'something' that particularly speaks to you. I will also encourage you to look at these propositions holistically ‒ from the perspective of not only your intellect, but also the emotions you experience, your physicality and your 'spirituality'.


1. Situational leadership (Kenneth H. Blanchard) ‒ describing leadership as flexibility in the choice of management styles used by an individual, in a particular situation. Assuming that it is not possible to use a learned single type of behavior, to be applied in every situation. This flexibility implies the need to change management style depending on the circumstances. The characteristics of this leadership are communication and a focus on current needs and motivations.


2. Adaptive leadership ‒ performing acts of leadership (Ronald Heifetz) ‒ describing leadership as acting in isolation from one's position or role. It is the given situation that can, by activating our courage and our intrinsic motivation, unleash in us the strength and will to face the encountered difficulty, as a consequence of which we find a solution (irrespective of the function or role we hold at the time).


3. Value-based leadership and inner mission (Simon Sinek) ‒ focusing on the intrinsic motivation to do what inspires us, and consequently having an impact on changing the world and inner fulfilment. Leadership realized through one's individual purpose and that 'something' ‒ one's own reason why I do what I do and 'why' I would inspire others and others would follow me.


4. Empathic leadership ‒ consciously creating a place where we want to belong, while accepting and acknowledging each person's personal and individual values. An empathic leader is someone who is able to empathize with another person's perspective. Empathy in this view is a 'tool'/'competence' that builds and develops awareness to make independent and responsible choices.


5. Servant leadership (Robert K. Greenleaf) ‒ leadership characterized by a truly servile attitude (awareness of personal role and social responsibility) before the desire to direct and manage others. A leader in the view of this leadership is characterized by certain attitudes that influence the development of the potential and satisfaction of others. These include listening, empathy, awareness, commitment to people development or community building.


6. Sustainable leadership (Andy Hargreave) ‒ an approach to leadership that takes into account the possibility of sustainable development taking into account different parties and the environment. A leader who wants to realize his or her leadership in sustainable terms is required above all to change his or her thinking ('mindset'), to navigate the whole 'context' of a situation, to be aware, to take a long-term view, to be trusting and cooperative, to be creative or to create collectives.


I have not mentioned authoritarian leadership, based on control, whose main tool is power ‒ the power of the management system given to specific individuals or institutions. Is this a type of leadership? We are already seeing a major shift in attitudes and changes in the management styles used so far and away from traditional models of an autocratic nature in many companies and institutions.


The changing world gives us a whole range of options to apply and practice. Leadership is not just a form but a competence through which we can act, facing the unknown and unknowable, something we have rarely experienced before. When things are in flux, we are guided by a vision ‒ a goal and a direction. In a situation of uncertainty, a valuable competence is the ability to 'understand', acquired through interaction and communication with others. If an issue is not understood, it requires clarity and often, the use of 'intuition'.


When the environment we are in is complex, we need to invite more clarity, or information, to help us navigate the issues at hand. If we feel anxious, we need to invite more empathy and attentiveness. Conversely, when we are in a situation of ambiguity, we invite more creativity, variation and experimentation into our experience.


What is the purpose of your Leadership?


Becoming a Leader is a process I invite you to join this adventure.


I also invite you to a series of inspirational articles whose intention will be to awaken your inner search for your potential to be and experience "your own leadership style".


Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


 

Agnieszka Witkowska, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Agnieszka is a People and Culture leader, an expert in the field of human resources with more than 15 years of professional experience in cooperating with consulting companies. She is a Coach, Mentor and a Psychologist/Therapist. In her daily practice and expertise, she combines and applies psychological knowledge with business practice, which undoubtedly distinguishes her leadership style and approach to building valuable relationships with others. She focuses on leadership and talent development. The areas of work she deals with allow her to fulfil her mission: to inspire others, especially women, to be themselves, to discover and fulfil their potential. To show the beauty of the world and to savor life.

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