Friday 8 November 2019

The three kinds of leadership

Listen directly to the podcast version of this post here.

One of my leadership heroes is Mary Parker Follett. In the first paragraph of her Wikipedia page it says “She has been called the "Mother of Modern Management”. Instead of emphasizing industrial and mechanical components, she advocated for what she saw as the far more important human element …”

If you know me at all you will know that it is this human element that is the focus of all my work. Any wonder that Mary is a hero for me!

In her 1924 published book ‘The Creative Experience’ Mary says: 

Leadership is not defined by the exercise of power but by the capacity to increase the sense of power among those led.

The most essential work of the leader is to create more leaders.

I love this - The most essential work of the leader is to create more leaders.

Is your work creating more leaders?

I define leadership as the art of inspiring people to see and bring the best out in themselves and other people.

The first kind of leadership is self-leadership. No one can lead successfully without first leading self.

All change is personal first. Self-leadership is everyone’s business. It all begins with self-awareness which I regard as the number one leadership skill.

The number two skill is awareness of others which is the realm of the second kind of leadership that of leading for others.

In my work I call leading for others appreciative leadership. It has much to do with fully appreciating people and processes. It’s primarily about sustaining shared-view in the seven areas of significance that I have explored in previous podcasts - reality, possibility, purpose, strategy, execution, progress and culture.

The third kind of leadership is leading for leaders.

This is arguably the toughest kind of leadership. It’s the daily practice of inspiring people to fully appreciate and bring out the best in themselves. It’s all about ensuring people feel valued, live values and deliver value.

The work I highly recommend that you do to enhance these three kinds of leadership is two-fold:

First set aside time to assess yourself in the following areas


Self-talk, gratitude, well-being, how you receive feedback and feedforward, and how you reflect on your performance and take action to be better, wiser and more valuable.

Leading for others

Your ability and willingness to inspire, converse with people 1:1 and in groups, and to  communicate and present ideas with clarity and meaning for others.

Leading for leaders

How well do you ensure that others appreciate themselves, bring out their best and feel valued, live values and deliver value.

Second action

Take time out with your peers at least once a quarter and ask for feedforward about how you can be better, wiser and more valuable in each of the leading for others and leading for leaders areas.

If you’d love some help check out my all new just online Sparkenator Leadership program. 

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

No comments: