The Five Ds of Leadership
The Five “Ds” of Leadership
Looking further into the Year 2013 through the Lens of Strategic Leadership
You are probably wondering why you should read this excerpt on leadership as you proceed into the year 2013. The following five points can assist in clarifying your thoughts as you propel to launch yourself and your organization/company this year. I call these the 5 “Ds” of Leadership.
The Five “Ds” of Leadership
Direction: - Like most things in life, we need to have a clear and precise focus when we set out on our leadership journey. Many of us today follow and live in the shadows of others. Sometimes we call it coaching and mentoring. The essence of these concepts (coaching and mentoring) is to facilitate the process of bringing the best out of the protégée or the coached. Unfortunately, most individuals being mentored or coached knowingly or unknowingly drop their personal goals, objectives and aspirations only to pick-up those of others; especially that of the mentor or coach. Though, it is good to encourage young and upcoming as well as experienced leaders to identify individuals they admire and look up to, we must also ensure that these individuals do not lose their direction and focus in the leadership development process. Both young and experienced leaders must be encouraged to have a clear personal and organizational vision, mission and strategy as they proceed into the Year 2013. Direction must accompany determination to ensure you arrive at your destination.
Determination: - Most people make resolutions and proceed to set specific goals and objectives for themselves and their organizations as they set out into the New Year. However, the question of whether these resolutions, goals and objectives are pursued to the latter mostly remain unanswered; partly because most people lack the discipline to consistently work towards achieving them [goals & objectives] or they lack the necessary mechanisms to assist in bringing their set goals and objectives back on track when they fall away. Both young and experienced leaders need the determination and drive to follow through with set goals and objectives and New Year resolutions. Below are four reliable steps towards ensuring you work diligently towards the realization of your goals and objectives in 2013 are:
- - Build/develop a network of like-minded, trusted and astute people. Such individuals can serve as your accountability group on regular basis to guide you through the process.
- - Set a regular meeting time and date where you (your accountability group) all get together to share your accomplishments and failures.
- - Celebrate each other’s accomplishments and find the appropriate words of encouragement for failed experiences and identify ways of avoiding a repetition of such mistakes.
- - Never give up on your resolution, goals and objectives.
Diversity: - Sometimes we become set in the way we do things and the people we want to work with. But the truth is, we can never find everything we need in a single place or individual. Today’s leaders must learn to appreciate the fact that people are different in unique ways and every organization has something different to offer its people. We must learn to be flexible and open to new ideas and thoughts from both “new” and “old” people around us. Openness to different ideas and thoughts can facilitate the process of achieving organizational goals and objectives. In fact, making room for new thinking and idea creation can enhance an organizational environment that promotes creativity and innovation for industry leadership. Diversity can lead to organizational/company differentiation.
Differentiation: - Most leaders and organizations are losing the sense of being unique in their chosen industries and sectors due to paying too much attention to “the competition." Paying attention to your competitors should never be sacrificed for setting yourself apart from the competition.. Leaders and organizations must take the necessary steps to develop a spirit of innovation and creativity within (internally) the organization/company while observing what is happening on the outside (externally). The following five steps can assist you in distinguishing (differentiating) yourself and your organization in 2013:
- - Develop a culture of creativity and innovation (this must be an ongoing process).
- - Allocate enough organizational/company resources towards the innovative and creativity process.
- - Implement a training and coaching program that promotes innovation.
- - Develop an idea management team.
- - Ensure all projects and tasks are tied to overall company/organizational strategy/ies.
Delivery/Destination: - Most leaders and organizations spend ample amount of time, money and other organizational resources developing mission statements, core values and strategic plans without actually implementing them. They never get to the actual delivery stage and the desired destination. The successful leaders and organizations in 2013 will be the ones that essentially focus on the implementation of their set goals and objectives towards the actualization and realizations of overall organizational strategy/ies. It is very easy to be distracted from your goals and objectives as you proceed further into the New Year. But taking the appropriate steps to ensure there are matrix in place to assist you and your organization in the implementation of your plans can lead to enormous individual and company success. The following are five steps you can apply towards the implementation and realizations of set individual and organizational goals:
- - Create buy-in from all stakeholders
- - Develop matrix for measuring and monitoring individual and organizational progress
- - Ensure that there is a regular and consistent feedback system (a 360 Degrees Feedback Process) in place. Do not wait until the last minute to provide feedback.
- - Celebrate small achievements
- - Accept and encourage “relevant failure/s”
You are off for a great start!
Dr. Peter Carlos Okantey