History and corporate lore are replete with examples of leaders who change the course of people, destiny, and history itself. As disparate as the leaders, the circumstances of their contributions and the impact they made are, a common twine that is woven through the stories of these exemplary people. Let us begin with some of the key elements that combine to make a Standout Leader:
a- The values and ethics of Standout Leaders
b- The skills and competencies of Standout Leaders
c- The experience and track record of Standout Leaders
d- The relevance and impact of Standout Leaders
e- The alignment of Standout Leaders to the Leadership space and time required
The exact measure of elements that must combine to make the Standout Leader in any given situation varies and like any dough, a drop of yeast may make or unmake the Leader. More on the Yeast Element later.
1. The values and ethics of Standout Leaders
The actions of Standout Leaders are based on a set of values and ethical choices that are clear, compelling and able to motivate action around them. They also emerge or thrive more when the values of the organisation or the context in which they operate are clearly defined, and communicated. When the values and ethics of the Standout Leader are aligned to the mission and vision that underpins the pursuit of profits, or better social outcomes, they enhance the boundaries of the organisation or social context. Standout Leaders transform their community and society.
2. The skills and competencies of Standout Leaders
Standout Leaders are adaptable and agile in thought and action. Their greatest competency is their ability of absorb shocks to strategy and learn to achieve their vision and the fulfilment of their mission. Standout Leaders inherently understand how to sail on the edge of change and handle turbulence. Standout Leaders are agile and responsive.
3. The experience and track record of Standout Leaders
With or without intent, Standout Leaders emerge ready. The elements of their life choices, professional pursuits, convictions, principles, and learning sum up at a point in time to make Standout Leaders uniquely fit for a task. The best Standout Leaders are careful to nurture the alternative voice and opposite attributes in a muse that shapes the contours of their own thoughts and actions for durability and longevity. Standout Leaders emerge prepared even if accidentally so.
4. The relevance and impact of Standout Leaders
The relevance of the Standout Leaders rests mainly on their ability to coherently and cogently interrogate the status quo. This is the foundation of their credibility. They must be able to interpret their successes and failures together to define safe pathways to stretch the boundaries of possibility in a given context. Over time, the layers of credibility compact into insights that shape the present and the future Leadership situations and contexts. Standout Leaders learn to stay relevant.
5. The alignment of Standout Leaders to the Leadership space & time
People change. Times also change. Tomorrow is the inspiration for today. Standout Leaders understand how to get the most out of the overlaps of the elements of Leadership and the evolutions they go through, especially when the contexts and the times change. Standout Leaders read the times well and change to suit them or exit.
The Yeast in the dough
So back to the Yeast Element which is the unknown qualities that make Standout Leaders. First, there is that which they may discover about themselves, and what people discover about them. Second there are the people and circumstances that affect them. These are unknowables are only mastered by sober reflection, honest introspection, and reliance upon the grace of God.
Are you a Standout Leader?
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