Values Based Leadership Development
by: Nasrin Davis
In a new era of rapid changes and knowledge-based enterprises, managerial work becomes increasingly a leadership task.
Leadership is the primary force behind successful change. Leaders empower employees to act on a vision. They execute through inspiration and develop implementation capacity networks through a complex web of aligned relationships. The elements of leadership behavior is isolated as specific learnings which are systematically programmed into a developmental process.
In my professional experience as a management consultant and as a change agent in the business environment for over the last 25 years within different organizations, where I have faced leadership issues, interacted with different cultures, values and leadership styles, has raised the question as to why existing leadership models remain in the lexicon or reference books and are not fully implemented to show they actually can work?
This question has led me to reflect upon the deterioration of many businesses and their leadership styles.
I believe that, rather than being born as a leader, leadership can be defined as a set of competencies which can be learned. Some aspects of knowledge, skills and attitudes have been taken into account in my research which have been clustered into competencies.
Our approach defines that appropriate and sufficient time is given to the development of leadership skills, to bring about the desired change in behavior and to achieve leadership competence.
Therefore, the acquisition of leadership competencies should occur by plan and design, rather than by accident. As your business grows, you face increasingly complex challenges. You are forced to be less of a “hands-on” technician and instead, you have to manage your business in new and possibly unfamiliar ways: through other people, systems, and information channels.
Growth can also strain even the most solid partnership making it difficult to maintain and pursue a joint vision for any business. While some people seem to be born with leadership qualities, most of us (even the smartest of us) aren’t, and we need to learn a new level of Leadership which requires a new level of consciousness.
It seems that most leadership development focuses almost exclusively on surface level behaviors, giving tools, tips, and strategies designed to improve leaders' performance. Such approached however, fail to take into account that action is shaped by deeper paradigms, mental models and value system.
Therefore, the foundation of a sustainable leadership development is transforming not what leaders do, say, and decide but what they believe, feel, and assume. It is not what leaders do, but who leaders are.