The Art of Leadership

November 3, 2016 8:45 am Published by Comments Off on The Art of Leadership

“It is our function as artists to make the spectator see the world our way not his.” Barnett Newman

I came across this quote the other day and it reminded me of leadership.

Leadership is not management. Management is focusing tasks. Leadership is focusing on the people who are completing the tasks. True leadership is an art. Having the ability to rally the team around a common goal, to motivate and encourage the group to accomplish something as one unified force, and to challenge the team to strive together to be “better than the rest” is an art. Most of us convince ourselves we are good leaders that effectively encourage our teams and excel at accomplishing goals, but in reality, few have mastered the art. What would your employees honestly say about your leadership behavior if we asked them anonymously? And we do ask in our leadership sessions all of the time, and trust me, the employees are eager to tell us the truth. They are happy that “someone is listening, now let’s see what happens”. The   information gathered from employees allows leaders to focus on specific behaviors that help or hinder the team’s success and work on enhancing their art. Managers typically don’t care to enhance the art because their view is ‘as long as we hit our numbers, I am doing a good job’. But to take companies to the next level, we need to care. It is a matter of joining the rest or being better than the rest.

(  for information on how to be better than the rest)

Like any art, we need to constantly develop our craft and talent. Most individuals are promoted into management positions due to achieving a competency or skill level in a particular field. Rarely are the leadership and the people skills considered a factor in that decision, except for the most senior level positions. As a result, we end up with many excellent task-focused managers who are more comfortable doing the work than leading the team. What we have found is that most employees want to be successful for their organizations and themselves, but when there is no direction, or without clear direction, the result is often chaos, confusion and disorganization on a team versus structure, organization and discipline. The team will rally around the latter. The goal is to help our team “see the world our way, not his (hers).” In other words, the art of leadership is painting a picture for the team that makes them want to be a valuable part of that picture. Otherwise, individuals are left to create their own picture and often times it is completely different than what the rest of the team sees. It is the leaders job to ensure the team is clearly focused on the same picture. We as leaders need to constantly remind the team and show them that picture, and if the picture changes along the way, which often happens, help them see the new picture. That takes art and that is what will excite a team to work together for a greater purpose.

Let us help you develop your art as we have with many of the world’s leading companies, teams and individuals. Contact us for a free consultation

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