I ask the question but am relying on you dear reader to be sufficiently curious to find the answer for yourself. Leadership is a journey not a destination. Whether you are seeking to understand those who lead you, or to become a leader yourself, ‘good’ leadership is something that it is important that we all understand and appreciate.
Later in this article, I will present you with ten quotes about leadership. Each is a variation on the theme, but each contains truths that like blades of flax, can be woven together to create something tangible and serviceable – perhaps a kete. Some of these quotes may be familiar, but read mindfully. They could provide you with a reference point if you choose to explore leadership. At our university, in our work places and in our personal lives, we can read about it, observe it, listen to others tell us about it, experience it and perhaps choose to live it, perhaps cultivating it within a role, about which we are passionate and committed.
Why am I drawing your attention to Leadership now, dear reader? The New Zealand public sector continues to invest hugely in the recruitment, development and support of leaders. Earlier this week I attended a presentation on Authentic Leadership, co-presented by Ginny Baddeley, The State Services Commission’s Chief Talent Officer. One of the initiatives she described was the Leadership Success Profile (LSP). A Leadership Development Centre has also been established devoted to collecting and disseminating research and resources aimed at understanding, cultivating and embedding effective and authentic leadership across our public services. Learn more at https://www.ldc.govt.nz/research/new-research/
Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. John F. Kennedy
Leaders need double vision. A vision of the far away is meaningless without a corresponding vision of the present. If the present is not tended, the far away will never be realized. Rodney Shaw
Honor bespeaks worth. Confidence begets trust. Service brings satisfaction. Cooperation proves the quality of leadership. James Cash Penney
Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine. Chris Hadfield
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. John Quincy Adams
A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus. Martin Luther King, Jr.
(As a Leader) getting in touch with your true self must be your first priority. Tom Hopkins
Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. Peter Drucker
The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. Ralph Nader
Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership. Colin Powell
I hope that you have found these quotes interesting or even inspiring enough to want to learn more about leadership. Each year, as part of the Victoria Plus Program and the Victoria International Leadership Program, there are opportunities to hear a range of speakers who have valuable knowledge and experience of leadership to share. I’ll continue on this theme in my next blog looking at where ‘character’ fits within good ‘authentic’ leadership.