What 1 word best describes Leadership?
So much has been written about leadership. Amazon has over 130,000 titles on the subject. I am an advocate for being a minimalist and with that bent; I have spent quite a bit of time attempting to distill modern leadership into one word. My one word is Integrative.
My one word is Integrative.
In my opinion, a leader in today’s business must be able to integrate the logical and linear with the mind and spirit. A leader must be able to provide clarity to an organization. He or she must ensure that everyone understands the organization’s Purpose, Vision, Values, Path and Outcomes. A well-defined, clear Purpose becomes the call to action, it is what fuels effort and drives results. A leader must also shape and crystalize the Vision. Employees must grasp the future state; they too must be able to see the direction of the organization. To be effective, a leader must ensure that this is well known and communicated. Further, they must establish core Values. These are the traits that the organization digs its collective heels in to protect and abide by. This goes beyond just the traditional moralistic driven values. Rather, this is very much about culture and both the employee and customer experience. A great example of this is the Zappos Culture Book. The Path is simply the trail markers, the signs along the way that the company is on the right path to accomplish the desired outcomes. Finally, a leader needs to define what success looks like and this is done through the formation of desired Outcomes. Outcomes are the expected results. It is hard to run a race if you can’t see the finish line.
a leader in today’s business must be able to integrate the logical and linear with the mind and spirit
So why do I chose the word Integrative? I do so because an effective leader integrates the above with an equal focus on the importance of the mind and spirit of the employees. Do all the above in the absence of an employee base that feels cared for, valued, heard and respected and the desired outcomes will not materialize. At its root, the integrative leader understands people and what fuels them. Studies have shown that employees are motivated by feeling appreciated and by having a clear understanding of how they impact the outcome. Further, the integrative leader blends the clarity and focus discussed prior with empathy, vulnerability, humility and presence.
Do all the above in the absence of an employee base that feels cared for, valued, heard and respected and the desired outcomes will not materialize.
With the influx of Millennials into the workforce, I believe these mind and spirit considerations have an even larger impact on the efficacy of a leader. Modern leaders must blend the logical and linear with the mind and spirit to fully manifest their true leadership potential. It is for this reason that I believe the one word that best describes leadership is Integrative.
I would like to use this article to pose the question to a broader audience. Please use the comment section below to share with this community what one word you believe best describes modern leadership.
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