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Posted by Philip Patston on 22 January 2008, 4:31 am in , , ,

The remote control of leadership


"The test of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already."
- John Buchan

Like wisdom, leadership is often mistaken as a quality that only some people possess. When we look for leaders to lead others, we look for particular developed skills and attributes - perhaps extreme competence in a certain area like sport or a technical skill, confidence or charisma.

But leadership is a quality that everyone is capable of and displays at some point in their lives. When was the last time someone you wouldn't think of as a leader suggested seeing a movie, having coffee or dinner with friends, or doing something, however small, differently at work? That's them displaying leadership qualities.

Even deciding to change the tv channel is leadership.

The 5 tasks of leaders are to:

  • develop a positive future vision (dream) - "I want to watch a different programme."
  • incorporate the vision into daily life (think) - "I need the remote."
  • sell the vision to others (talk) - "Hey you guys, you'll really enjoy this programme."
  • take calculated risks with the vision (do) - "Let's just watch it for five minutes." Click!
  • involve others with meaning (share) - "Hey, isn't this a great show?"
Adapted from “Becoming a Leader of Leaders” by Warren Bennis

So next time you're looking for someone to fulfill a leadership role, you might seek to put faith in a burgeoning couch potato and see what potential you find beyond the remote control...

If you'd like to know more about leadership and potential, contact us at Diversityworks.