Good Leadership: Developing Leaders

by Marteka Swaby February 15, 2017

Good Leadership: Developing Leaders

Developing Leadership 

Leadership develops daily with trust and transparency and good leaders will attract good people who are relationally focused and want to appeal to our higher values. It can sometimes feel like building lasting legacy has disappeared from modern leadership and even the products and services we like to purchase are no longer made to last, but to be replaced.  

At the foundation of good leadership is hard work, that is earned and built up over time. The intrinsic values of people are at the heart of sustainable change and create long term solutions, leaving a legacy of lasting gains that is not easily replaced.

More than often, especially in the domain I am currently working good leadership is measured by activity and accomplishments. The achievements of that month or quarter, that may or may not even be aligned to any impact that actually makes a difference or fosters good relationships and change.
I agree that good leaders must be equipped to deliver quick fix solutions and monitoring performance helps to map short-term gains. However, measuring accomplishment should be more than just a quantitative approach. A win win is surely to take a blended approach? Letting go of detail and creating an overview for change. 


Leaving a Legacy 

Good leadership must be able to create and foster a vision that incorporates both long and short term measures of accomplishment, but without too much detail. Leaving a legacy requires vision and it requires leaders to be able to zoom in on the details necessary in the short-term, but also to zoom out and focus on the bigger picture. 

This can create tension, particularly with the doers in your team, or organisation as you are working with ideas or solutions that are not fully developed. If you do not have all the answers, this may leave competent leaders feeling inadequate or ill equipped to impact lasting changes. 

However, the role of a good leader is to start to shape the direction of travel and to communicate effectively an overview of the longer term approach. 

It is in the letting go and being comfortable with not knowing that leaders are really able to cope in constantly changing landscapes. You will not have all the answers to this new approach, which is perfectly reasonable in a changing landscape. 


Created for connection 

So, how can we create environments that foster good connections or relationships and leave a legacy of good quality services or products that will deliver over time? I think the solution to this lies in interdependence.  

I bet you are thinking what is she talking about? Well let me explain....... We are created to belong, and one of the greatest fears in this world is not to belong or not to not fit in. The age-old struggle of separation and dependence. 

We often end up creating and sustaining problems we don’t even know we are creating. This is because organisations, teams or individual leaders default to working in silos only focused on their areas of familiarity or expertise. 

In this position we may resist helpful solutions because we are too focused on the short term. The idea of being connected and working together can often be threatening as we experience the pull to maintain our individual identities while at the same time feel part of something.  

Good leadership creates opportunities to make the links between the need to be separate or independent and the need to be dependent and fit in- this is known as Interdependence. 

A place where these opposing values collide, especially when people or organisation's are not fully aligned to a similar set of intrinsic values and ways of working.

The ability of good leadership is to enable us to work in both of these opposing states and deliver products or services that are both effective in changing long and short term landscapes. 

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Marteka Swaby
Marteka Swaby