We all need leaders to help focus our spiritual, professional and social lives. Leaders play an essential role in defining, communicating and galvanizing the collective consciousness of an organization or community. In turn, this collective consciousness serves to inspire action, motivate commitment and focus a group’s energies on the accomplishment of mutually beneficial goals.
In today’s quickly evolving society, marked by unlimited instant access to knowledge and opinions on virtually any topic, individuals can be more independent in how they make an impact on the world. Still, it’s undeniable that focused collaboration results in more diverse perspectives on issues and an enhanced richness in terms of innovation and work product.
Leadership today is exhibited in many different ways. In virtual communities, credible thought leaders educate, provoke and rally like-minded individuals to promote critical ideas. In corporate environments, leadership is provided by project managers, high performance peers and senior managers who intuitively understand that individuals aspire to make a positive impact on their world through the products and services they help provide. Great leaders understand that it isn’t profits or the end result that trumps everything else – instead, it’s about addressing pressing and emerging needs and doing it the right way, while ensuring the welfare of all in the organization, that counts most.
Leadership is even more critical in not-for-profit organizations that are highly dependent upon volunteers and philanthropic contributions to fulfill their mission. Diverse agendas, individual egos, strong passions and heart-wrenching calls for help can easily divert the efforts of these organizations. Strong leadership ensures forward progress, integrity and the most efficient deployment of highly limited resources.
Is leadership under-appreciated? In many ways, yes. Effective leaders can be taken for granted. Inspirational leaders, especially in today’s political arena, are oftentimes challenged by contrarians who are more interested in expressing their opinions than in working together for the common good. But without leadership, organizations and communities will devolve, stagnate and continue to waste precious resources. Who needs leaders? We all do!
© 2017 by Steve Carples (Synergistics Consulting www.synconsult.com). All rights reserved.