Why leadership needs more focus from business and places

Following the success of Didobi’s first aide-memoire #CreatingBetterTowns earlier this year, today marks the launch of #CreatingBetterLeaders, an aide-memoire on leadership and teams. This aide-memoire covers the core key considerations from leading self, leading others, community leadership and team building along with examples to judge yourself against.

Both are FREE resources for all to use.


Why an aide-memoire on leadership?

Quite simply over a number of years of meeting many people, working with many organisations, companies and places it is clear to me that leadership is an intangible asset that is undervalued.

The passage of time has seen monumental changes in technology, data, infrastructure, transport, science and medicine to name but a few. In recent years, especially the last decade, we have seen more challenges, in a shorter space of time than ever before outside of being at war. A good stat to illustrate this is the fact that 90% of the world’s data was created in the last two years and continues to grow in accordance with Moore’s Law. We are in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution where disruptive technologies and trends such as the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the way we live and work. At such times of change and the speed of change strong leadership is required.

Leadership or indeed communication skills is not something that features on the school or university syllabus but is something that is critical both to leading self and leading others. The NHS and charities are overwhelmed with mental health issues – the unseen but potentially deadly issue of the 21st Century. You could argue that we all aspire for more than previous generations, we know our rights but not our responsibilities and that fear of failure has become an over powering negative force for many.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”  John Quincy Adams

Leadership is a key component to improving ourselves and others.

All too often people feel defined by their environment or by others and this is a spiral of decline for many. Studying the backgrounds and motivations of Olympic athletes is a good example of exceptional people striving for exceptional results often from very challenged circumstances. They have an inner burning desire that many of us can only dream of having.

I consider myself as very fortunate having grown up observing exceptional people and leaders from my father, to teachers at school, to soldiers I have served alongside, to national and international figures and people within companies I have worked for and with. I am very fortunate to have a mental database of people and events that guide my values, vision and conduct. If asked what my passion is, I would say it is people. People are the most extraordinary inhabitants of our planet and it is the variety of personalities, talents and drive that fascinates me be it in communities, sport, companies, organisations or institutions.

Leadership of self and others is something we are all born with but something that requires nurturing, developing and training throughout life like any skill. Leadership is an ongoing journey to the horizon; you need to keep moving towards it but don’t ever reach it. The very nature of humans and the generational changes make this all the more exciting as a journey!!

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

Leadership is not solely about a training course (which is what most get to experience), it is about a culture of challenge and support but from those who ‘walk the talk’ and ‘not talk the walk’. The military have exceptional leadership training as one might expect for the role they perform and this exists and is developed at all levels. Teach, practice and test is the process that enables people to grow their confidence, skills and capability in leading themselves and others.

I believe that through leadership we can create better communities, places, organisations and companies but to do that we need a culture, structure and values that enables this. What we see around the world in our politicians is not a good example or one that inspires us on this journey so I urge you to look closer to home to the people who serve those around them not because of seeking reward but because they want to.

In a world of increasing technology, complexity and change it is us, the humans, who are the golden thread of enabling ourselves, others and our planet to be the best we can be.

‘Serve to Lead’ (Royal Military Academy Sandhurst motto)

I hope that Didobi’s #CreatingBetterLeaders helps you on this exciting but challenging journey. It can be downloaded from here.

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