Welcome back. We’re picking up where we left off in the previous blog. First, a quick review.
This is #4 in a series of six blogs on the theme of leadership development (six brief blogs intended to prompt your thinking, not provide a syllabus.)
The intentional development of leaders and leadership is an investment. Effective leaders need to know that, while they are providing particular gains for others, it will cost them some things along the way. (See our previous blog #2 covering effective leadership.)
Part #1 on this topic briefly addressed the costs and gains of holding to non-negotiable core Values. It also introduced ideas on the costs and gains of exercising a clear, consistent Voice. Part #2 picks up that thread below.
The Gain: Those who choose to follow a leader with a strong, clear voice, gain a more secure sense of affiliation and identity. This often leads to a more solid degree of acknowledgment from others in the “tribe”. Being a part of something that is represented by a strong, clear, unwavering voice also provides colleagues and other followers with advocacy and exposure for their cause and themselves. Another gain that creates an unmeasurable ripple effect is the setting of an example to follow. A solid example can inspire not only groups but also the next generation of leaders…and so on.
A Vision is not a Vision Unless it Acknowledges its Boundaries
The Cost: A visionary leader knows that deciding what not to do is often more important than acting on what to do. To pursue a clear vision is to set aside a multitude of other options. It costs opportunity, it keeps you from the satisfaction of focusing only on quick fixes, and it may cost you early experiences of broadly enthusiastic support and advocacy. You might sleep less.
The Gain: It provides others with hope for a better future within a specific arena. It draws together those who hope for a better future and want to achieve it according to similar values. It allows for momentum to build while strengthening the resolve to resist distracting temptations. It helps build momentum. It provides meaning.
The Costs of Developing as a Leader and What Others Gain
Effective leaders are those with followers who get good things done which benefit others in lasting ways. (Yes, there are plenty of leaders whose actions affect negative outcomes, but that’s another topic.) For this series of blogs intended to prompt your thinking, an effective leader is not in it for themselves, they are in it for others, are willing to count the cost, and are willing to pay that cost once they understand the investment and what it can effectively bring into being in and for the sake of others.
So that others may gain.