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 Raise the leadership "tent"

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TianHua
Staff Sergeant
Staff Sergeant


Number of posts : 456
Age : 24

PostSubject: Raise the leadership "tent"   10th January 2009, 10:36

For decades, leadership experts have tried to find the list of distinctive traits that define great leaders. They assumed that each trait stands alone, much like the individually encased coil springs in an expensive mattress. As the advertisements demonstrate, if a bowling ball is dropped on one coil over here, the cup of water on the coil over there will not spill a drop. This metaphor suggests that leadership skills are solitary and independent, not intertwined, as we believe they are.

A more accurate metaphor for understanding leadership is a large tent, with the three-dimensional space under the canvas representing leadership effectiveness. The poles in our metaphor represent key "strengths" of the individual leader, especially those five that have been shown to make a difference in separating the great from the good
  1. character
  2. personal capability
  3. focus on results
  4. interpersonal skills
  5. leading organizational change.
The tent canvas represents all of the possible competencies a leader might display.

The key to becoming a more effective leader is to lift more of the tent by hoisting multiple poles in the air. Lifting one tent pole pulls the entire tent up around that pole and raises a broad expanse of canvas. As a second competency pole is lifted, a new section of the tent is elevated, which not only raises the canvas above it, but also raises the canvas between the two leadership poles. With each succeeding competency tent pole, large expanses of canvas are lifted, until ultimately there is a huge volume of space under the tent.

Some strategies for raising the leadership tent:

Develop critical competencies: Seek to be competent in each of the five leadership areas.

Develop a combination of competencies: The canvas will not be raised with just one or two competency poles in the air. Great leaders need a balance of complementary skills.

More is better: Leaders with strengths in each of the five areas will hoist the most impressive tents.
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