Part II: The Art and Science of Leadership

Blog Post Transformational Leadership

Recap From Part One

The Science
If you recall from Part One, it could be said that Leadership is a delicate balance of both science and art. You can master the actions, or “doing”, or prescriptive science and come up with a sizable and valid “how to” for leadership. However, have you noticed that replicating successful actions doesn’t ensure another success? So there must be another aspect of leadership that impacts the actions we take.

The Art

Many examples were cited in Part One that point to the “being”, or art of Leadership. Like fine art, the qualities and characteristics are often hard to verbalize or describe, and can vary from person to person. Yet people are moved to action, or inspired, or stretched to be bigger than they know themselves to be in the presence of a powerful leader. Examples of this in experiencing fine art could be:

  • Buying a painting that you fell in love with
  • Starting to dabble in artwork yourself
  • Talking about, studying, visiting places that house fine art
  • Joining a club or group to expand your knowledge and artistic community

Mapping It On To Leadership

There is a common element or thread in these examples, that is equally difficult to verbalize. It is almost ethereal, yet when in the presence of true leadership, it is both indescribable and undeniable. So what is that?

Eye On The Future

Step 1: Believe in a possibility without knowing how to achieve it

In people imbued with this leadership essence, what is similar is where they are looking. They are looking to a future, yet to be created. While the past may inform and guide their knowledge base, their actions and beliefs are future-oriented. They do not need evidence or proof that something is possible, and may in fact, not have a clue how to bring that future into existence. Yet they believe with every fiber that it is possible.

Step 2: Declaration of what shall be

What will bring a possible future from concept to existence is speaking it into existence A declaration, proclaiming that a future shall be, is the beginning of setting a course of action for realization. The declaration is potent and vivid, and spoken publicly with wide-eyed inspiration and possibility. The more public the declaration, the higher the stakes.

Step 3: Orient your actions around that articulated future

The only thing that impacts performance is action. All the best ideas and eloquent declarations will wither on the vine without a plan for action to realize and sustain possibility. This step is where a leader enrolls and engages others into seeing and feeling that possible future in such a way that they are eager to commit to action. Teams are formulated, structures for fulfillment are designed, and the elusive possibility starts to take shape.

In Part Three we’ll explore how to apply Leadership to the realization of the future, keep inspiration alive, and embed possibility into the fabric of your team or organization.

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