The call to lead – like priesthood!

It’s the norm at the Effectiveness lab to challenge the status-quo – we believe in the value of disrupting conventional management thinking. That is not to say that we are anti-establishment, but we shall always try to get our readers onto space where together, we push the boundaries of practical, simple, and status-changing thought processes at the modern organization

This blog is the first in the ‘The Effective Organization: Organizational-vitals and bionic-balance‘ series that discusses the leadership organizational-vital (OV) and how its sub-elements combine with other OV’s (Strategy, Design, and People) to bring about a state of organizational bionic-balance (BB) and SMART organization

Organisational-Vitals (OV) and Bionic-Balance (BB)

Leadership is too generic a subject matter that many of us are duped to believe that we are leaders and good ones at that.  Google the term leadership, and you will return 777,000,000 results in 0.54 seconds. Compare that to googling the term nuclear physics, you will yield 5,760,000 results in 0.51 seconds. The latter tells you something about the diversity of the subject matter leadership and why many people think they are leaders, does it not?

The leadership OV series explores the subelements of leadership and how they impact bionic-balance at the SMART organization. It’s appropriate to ask how leaders become leaders and how effective the leader-determination process is. Can we influence who is chosen to be a leader? Who is an effective leader? Are these matters that are better left to fate, luck, and invisible omnipotence?

Leadership and management theorists have for many years argued whether leaders are born or made? We at the Effectiveness lab believe that leaders are born – and are anointed to lead. While the anointment may not be spiritual, as in priesthood, it’s still a humanly complicated process of determining whether you have the right leadership biomarkers or not

It’s more important to understand that you don’t have the biomarkers for effective leadership than knowing that you have them. The latter situation is where organizational fate towards a bionically balanced and SMART organization is decided. In other words – you are either a leader with the DNA to drive organizations towards bionic-balance status or not. It’s important to understand whether we have the right leadership biomarkers or not.  If you don’t have the biomarkers, steer clear of leadership responsibility

There are too many leadership wannabes that are not cut out to be leaders. Well, the truth be said, we can all be leaders, but not all of us can be effective leaders.

Anointed Leader dynamics:

Effective leaders, the anointed lot, seamlessly integrate the leadership organizational-vital with the other peer vitals [strategy, design, and people] when presiding at their organizations

While anointed leaders have in them special leadership DNA, they also appreciate that on its own, such DNA is not enough to deliver the owners a bionically balanced organization.

Anointed leaders have the innate ability to adapt a bird’s-eye view in their management style. Such leaders master the art of leveraging the other three organisational-vitals [strategy – design – and people] to get maximum impact from their leader DNA. They understand how strategy affects their leadership outcomes, they also know that strategy without people and the right organizational structure is a recipe for failure.

It takes a very unique set of skills to be this kind of leader. A leader who is leader – but also has the right mastery in strategy, design, and people issues

The MBA degree is designed to mold leaders that understand how to leverage various organizational vitals for organizational success.  However, it is wrong to believe that we can create a factory (read colleges) that produces leaders with the right skills balance to create SMART organizations. Yes, colleges can help the already anointed to shoe-horn their leadership pedigree, but they cannot implant the natural ability and want to understand, create, and sustain bionically balanced entities.  Colleges may mold excellent managers, but not leaders

Indeed, as leadership success factors continue to shift from the technical and academic foci towards the intangibles, effective leadership is becoming a matter of the heart and soul? Heart and soul matters aren’t learned in class – leadership is nature; we are created with it and can only make it better. We believe that effective leaders are born with the DNA to lead and that such DNA is not acquired in class, our homes, or at work. In other words, you are either born a leader or not – your brain has to be wired a certain way to lead effectively.

Truth be told, the majority of the so-called leaders find themselves on the left (weak) of the effective leader bio-marker continuum; yet, they find it hard to accept that they don’t have what it takes to lead effectively. Why do people want to become leaders, even when they know that leadership is tough, and that they may fail at it? Is this related to the human tendency to want power and money? No wonder, many entities have not managed to get their leadership appointments right.

The unspoken truth about becoming a leader:

Like priesthood, it may be the time for the world to consider leadership a calling. The believers know it’s a calling from their God and to the humanists a calling by the world to serve the world.

Imagine what would happen if everyone in the world was a priest. Who would minister to who? We believe at the Effectiveness lab that we are getting to a point where we have too many non-leaders as leaders. Leaders that practice leadership from the purist technical and academic lenses; as opposed to leaders that consider leadership a system of leadership intangibles and other organisational-vitals

The call to lead:

So, if effective leaders like priests are called to lead, how does one qualify for the calling? We could ask the same of priests. How do they qualify for their calling and who calls them? We have been told that individuals that are called to the priesthood experience a moment of magic in which they engage with the omnipotent to receive their calling. We have to assume that getting your call to ministry involves some supernatural engagement with the almighty

But then, who calls you and me to leadership? Well, ours is a two-pronged process: your personal gut-feeling to serve as a leader and the keen eye of those that see in you what it takes to lead. The combination of your innate feeling that is only known to you, and what others see in you – gets you leadership anointment

The problem is: human beings have a tendency to exaggerate their capacity – hubris is a real challenge in the effective leader bio-marking process

Do you have the right skills in your Human Resources unit to identify anointed leaders? The leaders that will deliver you bionically balanced and SMART organizations. If the answer to this question is yes, you have solved 70% of the challenge to create and sustain bionically balanced and SMART organizations

Case study – the church:

[Those that have been called to the priesthood in the church look beyond the title of priest. Christians that have been called to ministry look at a much wider sphere of focus and influence. Of course, they look at the church and scripture, but also people dynamics within the church, and the environment in which they operate. Priests lead their flock at the church, ministering as per written scripture – but they also look beyond the church.  Priests (the ones we have worked with) have a real perception of the polity of the nations in which their churches work, government and other social development systems, the mechanics of strategy, and people management. A functional and God fearing church is a splendid example of a bionically balanced entity that accrues good outcomes.]



Categories: You, the Leader!

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  1. Leadership – like a plane taking off against the winds; three tips to tame the winds – Gabazira's blog

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