There are different kinds of leadership. Some leaders cause individuals or society to ‘fall off a cliff’. Some leaders move all things toward a positive result – where both the individual and its environment or society benefit. How may we define this kind of leadership?
The following questions and answers may help clarify the Leadership Platform approach to leadership.
Q: How do we define leadership?
Amongst many definitions we define leadership as the ‘profession of causing and sustaining positive movement’. Leadership when considered as a profession on its own, in much the same way that we consider a multitude of occupations to be professions, is an authentic, unique and powerful profession because it penetrates every aspect of our existence as individuals and therefore also has direct impact on society. The profession of leadership in principle is therefore to cause movement.
Q: Speaking of movement, what are leaders supposed to move?
In essence leadership is about causing movement of people and situations. To be able to cause movement of people and situations is to have an ability to move all things. The ability to move people and situations is synonymous with leadership.
Q: Some situations are good for us and we do not want to change them. What kind of situations do we want to move?
We want to sustain movement of situations that are positive and we want to cause movement in situations that we perceive to be obstacles i.e. to move mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and organisational barriers. Why? Because it limits our endless potential.
Q: What are the essential elements of causing and sustaining movement?
All movement consists of the integration of motivation, direction and supporting structure. This is the universal Law of Movement. All three elements of motivation, direction and supporting structure HAVE to be present or movement will not occur.
Q: How can we prove the Law of Movement to be legitimate?
By trying to think of any situation where movement occurs without all three elements being present. You would be the first to do so because it cannot be done. It is a universal law.
Q: What are the essential elements of motivation?
When we speak of motivation we mean principally the driving emotions that move us to action. From a leadership perspective such emotion is essentially contained in our attitudes. Our attitudes, whether positive or negative, are made up of our self-image, our believed values, as well as our trust (or lack of trust) in processes that we believe will achieve the movement we want to cause. At Leadership Platform we call this a seamless attitude, because it embraces the motivation and power to move barriers to potential.
Q: What do we mean by power?
We see two kinds of power that we want to master as leaders: ‘Power over’ and ‘power with’.
- ‘Power over’ applies to things and situations that we can exert power over without encroaching on the freedom of choice of others. In other words, we exert power over physical things such as our clothes, cars, our health, our learning (education), money, fixing a leaking tap and physical possessions. When we try to exert power over people we invariably cause resentment and animosity.
- When dealing with people we speak of power with them. People in general have to make up their own minds and hearts or else they will NOT be motivated. Power with people is the essence of causing motivational drive in people. Power in this perspective is the passion and freedom to share our skills and knowledge with others. It is the passion to support and to encourage. It is the power of correction. It is the power of love and compassion and values. It is the power of faith and hope. It is the power of positive attitudes. This is the power of causing movement to happen.
Q: How do we develop power with people?
The essential driving energy of power with people is caused by the following three factors
- Self-belief. Belief and faith is the basic driving power of all human motivation. We cannot move without belief in some form or other. The degree to which we believe in our own potential is the foundation of our own confidence to believe in others.
- Belief in the dignity and unlimited potential of others. The Boomerang Factor which determines that “everything we send out comes back to us in some form or other” is supportive of the imperative of developing a deep-rooted respect for the dignity and potential of others. Our belief in self and in others is a foundational driving force of our power with people.
- Belief in authentic universal processes, principles and values. The ability to recognise and trust in universal processes that cause movement to happen – to attitudes and situations are the foundation of leadership confidence. In principle we all need to develop a deep-rooted respect for universal principles and laws that support our confidence to make things happen.
Q: What role does trust in process play in movement dynamics?
Trust in authentic process is an imperative in our desire to cause movement to happen. A perceived obstacle/challenge/problem takes on a significantly different meaning once it becomes part of a trusted movement process. When a perceived obstacle in our minds stands outside of a trusted process of action, then we may perceive it as stress, pain and create negative expectations. Our perception of problems in ‘stand alone mode’ is the biggest obstacle to our progress as leaders. Trust in authentic processes that naturally move barriers to potential – is an imperative in movement dynamics.
An example of a trusted process to cause movement to happen is that of the Edo factor. Edo stands for evaluate and do. The Edo factor states that all actions in life consist of two principle actions – evaluate and do. Think of this. It makes perfect sense. The Edo factor is one example of a universal principle and process that helps empower us to cause movement. Most of us are using the Edo factor thousands of times during the day without necessarily consciously realising that we are applying a universal process to our daily challenges.
All confident leaders have a conscious trust in these processes they use to move obstacles in their path. Leadership growth is essentially a conscious mastery of processes that have power to move people and situations.
The essence of power with people and over situations is the possession of a seamless – an open..endless attitude that all obstacles and barriers to limitless potential can and will be moved by compliance with universal principles governing movement mentioned above.
Leadership is the business of movement.
Louis Groenewald – The Old Man
LP Leadership Platform – Multiplying Leaders. Moving Society.
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