Leadership. It's a hat.
What is leadership? If we can’t explain it in 5 seconds, how can we possibly know if we are ‘doing it right’???
Why should you care (the altruistic motivation)...?
Our leadership has a huge impact on those who work in our teams. I won’t bore you with statistics, but the research is pretty clear; if you are a toxic boss, you may literally be killing your staff.
What’s in it for you (the narcissistic motivation)...?
Leadership is industry agnostic; it’s the SAME STUFF EVERYWHERE! You could remove Toto Wolff from the Mercedes F1 team and place him in a hospital/hedge fund/hotel group, and that organisation would soon dominate. It’s just so important. So...become 'good' at leadership, and the fact that your team/fund/section always seems to shine will become an indelible part of your professional reputation.
So…what is it? Well, my old gig…(the Australian military) defines it like this: “Leadership is the art of positively influencing others in pursuit of a common goal.”
(Think of the leadership cliches you can reject by pondering that one for a while…)
As bosses, we wear three hats…a Commander’s hat, a Manager’s hat and a Leadership hat. The simplest explanation; command is the ‘power’, management the ‘science’, and leadership the ‘art’.
The best leaders will naturally glide in and out of these roles…for the rest of us mortals, striving to be an exceptional boss requires a large dose of self awareness, a measure of humility and a good listening ear to know when we’ve been wearing one hat for too long.