The five leadership interrelated capabilities provides a lens to assist a leader to develop a robust approach and guide for action.
1. Contextual Awareness
Contextual awareness is about making sense of the context in which leadership is being executed. It requires leaders develop an understanding of the situation and environment impacting their leadership choices and actions. Contextual awareness is an important capability as is creates a shared map of the environment. It ensures that leaders face reality and make sense of the world around them.
Leaders need a good grasp of how the world is changing around them and the implications of that change on their ability to achieve the vision and drive change.
2. Setting Direction
Setting direction is a capability that establishes shared purpose, vision, values and goals that provides clear direction. Direction implies change, a change from the current reality towards some future state. Setting direction requires an answer to the question “What future do we want to create?” This supports the development of a compelling vision of the future that inspires others and is shared by the community. A clear and shared direction gives people a sense of meaning.
3. Building Capability
Building capability requires leaders develop and align the teams, processes, skills and technologies required to translate the future direction into reality. Bold vision and change demands a large amount of innovation to bring the vision into reality. It’s the recognition that you cannot keep doing the same things and expect different results. Vision demands innovation and a search for new and better ways of doing things.
4. Inspiring Commitment
Inspiring commitment is the capability to bring people to a place where that they willingly devote their time and energy to support the shared direction. This demands of leaders that they connect and develop authentic, trusting and caring relationships with others. To lead effectively in a distributed and interconnected world requires that we develop not only vertical but also horizontal relationships.
5. Personal Effectiveness
Personal effectiveness acknowledges the personal dimension of leadership, it’s about how effectively an individual leads oneself. This requires a personal understanding of who we are, our skills, values, character, strengths and weaknesses.
Personal effectiveness recognises that there is no one right way to lead and that to be effective leaders require the self-awareness and understanding of where they are effective and where they need to partner with others.
If we examine the elements it’s clear that each of these capabilities are interdependent, without vision it becomes difficult to build capability or to inspire commitment or about change. For leadership to happen each of the five capabilities need to be addressed together and kept in balance. A focus on only one or two capabilities at the expense of others will yield poor results.
Please share your ideas, I'm always interested in seeing alternative points of view.