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New Constructs for Effective Leadership – Part 3

This is the third of a three-part series on effective leadership through additional constructs.  The first two constructs discussed were emotional intelligence and contextual intelligence.  The final construct is strategic intelligence.  It is a set of competencies that are inter-related and built on the foundation of the previous two constructs.

strategic-intelligence

  • Foresight – The ability to think in terms of forces that are not obvious and cannot be measured but are shaping the future. It is having the ability to predict the “next wave” and be in a position to ride it into the future.
  • Vision with systems thinking – Visioning means not only riding the wave, but directing its course. “Systems Thinking” is the ability to recognize the individual aspects of what is creating the changes and understand how they fit together. This helps to be able modify the system of the organization to align with and be able to properly address the changes.
  • Motivating and empowering – The ability to get people to embrace a common purpose, to implement a vision. Leaders who motivate are able to communicate in a way that inspires others.
  • Partnering – The ability to make strategic alliances.

This is the most difficult of the constructs to master.  Leaders will have a natural strength in one of the aspects but must focus on the others to fully excel with implementation.  A person with foresight but without emotional intelligence is vulnerable to paranoia for lacking a sense of others’ intentions.  Narcissistic leaders have strong vision but success could feed their ego and could take their vision too far.  The flip side of that is the overly conservative leader who might not embrace the changes that would come with applying strategic intelligence.

It might be best to utilize this leadership construct to develop a mission statement for the organization.  It is important to recognize that there will be some in the organization who are naturally stronger in each aspect of the matrix. A leader who can put together a “think tank” of these individuals to address issues the organization faces would be able to take full advantage of strategic intelligence.

The most important thing to take away from all of this is that there are managers and there are leaders. 

Managers are able to maintain the status quo.  They support a stable work environment that will produce predictable outcomes.

Leaders have the ability to affect change.  They are looked to from the organization when the unpredictable happens for guidance and direction.

It has been said that leaders are born.  That is not entirely true.  All individuals have at least some of the traits for effective leadership.  A realistic self-evaluation to determine weaknesses in the traits outlined in this series will provide a path to become a more effective leader.

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Read part 1 of this series on Emotional Intelligence here.

Read part 2 of this series on Contextual Intelligence here.

Jim Turner – Director of Business Relations (North America)

Gould Design, Inc.