Flourishing Culture

Inwardly Focused Outwardly Effective Leaders

January 18, 2018

There are countless books and articles being written on the subject of leadership. It seems to me they can be classified into one of three categories.There are writings that offer leadership styles. Others offer principles or laws of leadership and others are written by famous people who have personal stories of leadership they feel compelled to share. Why, there is even a book entitled, Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus! Many of these books and articles provide step-by-step approaches and/or package their leadership style with a one-word descriptor (e.g., adaptive leadership or transactional leadership).  Maybe it's me but I don’t view many of them as going deep enough. What I perceive as missing is a focus on the internal work leaders need to do to effect change. It’s my belief that leaders need to be inwardly focused so they can be outwardly effective. It’s a process of being alert, witnessing one’s experience, reflecting and challenging one’s assumptions, beliefs and mental models. There isn’t one right way to lead. That said, it’s been my experience that the best leaders realize that leadership is more than a philosophy or a style. Rather, it’s a commitment to doing this internal work, which in turn, transforms them and heightens their ability to be effective leaders of change

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