Leading: Now and Always

knight-on-horseI’ve been thinking about leaders lately, and how good leaders are going to become increasingly important as everything in business gets flatter, faster, more disrupted. I’m noticing more than ever before how essential it is for organizations to have strong and flexible leaders in order to succeed. I watch as those organizations whose leaders are too inflexible, too cautious, too short-sighted or too fear-based continue to founder, while those whose leaders are far-sighted, passionate, courageous, wise, generous and trustworthy seem to be finding their way much more quickly and easily.

And it just so happens that we at Proteus have and use a leadership model based on those six qualities, so it’s reinforcing our sense that these truly are the essential characteristics of good and effective leaders. We evolved our model based on “leader stories” from all over the world, going on the premise that folk and fairy tales tend to carry the “DNA” of our cultural expectations about what good leadership looks and feels like. If you’re interested, here is a little more explanation about the six qualities as they show up in these leader stories:

In these stories, the young leader-to-be can see beyond his current situation to his ultimate goal (save his father, win the princess, kill the monster), and can express it clearly and in a compelling and inclusive way - especially those whose help he needs - even when others lose sight of it, believe it’s impossible, or ridicule him for trying. He is Far-sighted.

Moreover, the leader-in-training doesn’t just go through the motions. He is deeply committed to his quest.  His every action is directed toward achieving it. Nothing dissuades him, even the inevitable setbacks and disappointments attendant on any quest. He may not be loud about it, but he is relentless. He is Passionate.

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Erika Andersen

Erika Andersen

Erika Andersen is the founding partner of Proteus, a coaching, consulting and training firm that focuses on leader readiness. Over the past 30 years, Erika has developed a reputation for creating approaches to learning and business-building that are custom tailored to her clients' challenges, goals, and culture. She and her colleagues at Proteus focus uniquely on supporting leaders at all levels to get ready and stay ready to meet whatever the future might bring. Much of her recent work has focused on organizational visioning and strategy, executive coaching, and management and leadership development.

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