Are you a leader?
How would you describe yourself as a leader?
What is leadership?
Can you answer these questions? While you may be able to answer the first with a simple “yes” or “no”, the other two questions require you to take an honest look at yourself and what you believe leadership to be. But what happens when you don’t know what you believe? What happens if you truly don’t know the meaning of leadership? Does it matter?
If you were to take a moment and reflect upon the leaders that you have met in your life, you may describe them as being invitational, constructive, strategic, or perhaps the leadership you have experienced has been distributed among a group of people. Now look at yourself as a leader. What type of leader are you?
Are you an INVITATIONAL leader? Invitational leaders have to take care of themselves and others personally and professionally if they hope to be in the game for any length of time. John Novak describes invitational leaders as having to invite…
Oneself Personally – pay attention to one’s self-talk
Others Personally – an active and creative social committee is vital
Oneself Professionally – keep informed and up to date
Others Professionally – help everyone to see themselves as part of the growth process
The invitational leader appreciates what is presently happening, yet is working to have more of the group’s potential realized. Invitational leaders believe “WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!”
Are you a CONSTRUCTIVE leader? Constructive leaders focus on finding a sense of purpose, like a shared vision. To be constructive, you must believe that when people learn through change, they commit themselves to the outcome. Purpose or purposeful action is the foundation for constructive leadership.
Are you a STRATEGIC leader? Author Michael Fullan talks about how strategic leaders are restlessness with the present. They have a dissatisfaction with the status quo, and have the belief “we can always do better.” They prioritize. They look at what has worked in the past, and shape it to work in the future. To strategic leaders, strong personal and professional networks are key for change and growth. Strategic leaders are successful in that they are proactive and personally engaging, while at the same time having a long range view.
Are you an INSTRUCTIONAL leader? Or do you view leadership as a DISTRIBUTED process? If so, you should believe that the growth of others is as important, or of greater importance, than personal growth. You look for opportunities to show others how to be successful, while using the successes of others in your organization as exemplars? To instructional leaders, leadership is not an act, it is a practice.
So, what type of leader are you?