Good day everyone. This week we are dealing with the important topic of personal attention in leadership. Leadership is a complex enterprise. It consists of a host of activities including visioning, team-building, culture management amongst others. Many people feel that the attention a leader gives to the personal development of key personel is the most strategic use of his/her time.
Leadership is a choice to make a difference and to do what others are not willing to do, it has to do with unlocking the potential in others.
Carly Fiorina - former CEO of Hewlett Packard
In the case of Sir Alex Ferguson, the personal attention to key individuals was interwoven with a wholistic developmental focus on youth ; a strategy at each of his clubs to develop a good team. This strategic focus was central to his managerial leadership philosophy and comprised several issues which was close to his heart.
A) His keen determination that working class boys with footballing potential be given the opportunity to develop that potential. - here we can think of Ryan Giggs, David Beckam and Wayne Rooney.
B) Building a team of coaches with key junior coaches who understand the ethos, values and culture of Manchester United and took an wholistic interest in all aspects of the boys' lives. Here we can think of Brain Kidd who was part of the 1968 European Cup winning team who in 1988 became a youth coach.
C) The willingness to take risks with young players; and the skill to effectively integrate youthful with more experienced players into winning teams.
D) The patience to wait for players to mature into effective stars.
This strategy was vindicated when the FA Youth Cup winners of 1992 matured into the 1999 Tremble winning squad.
Leaders are dealers in hope. They walk, influence and invest in such a way that young people sense their horizons lengthening, their worlds expanding, their futures opening up. This type of leadership focus could be described as providing needed anchorage amidst the possibility of pending wings. It is a reflection of a deep-seated matter of the heart. In the case of Sir Alex, some players have gone on to become international superstars - think of David Beckam and Christiano Ronaldo.
21st century leadership entails winning the war for talent which implies winning the war for hearts. A vital question which a senior leader may need to ask him/herself may be:
How personal does your leadership need to be?
The ability to understand people's aspirations and add value to their lives is a choice.Leaders consciously choose to develop others, to invest time and effort in growing others around them.
Key leadership lessons
A) Is your inner theatre ( see post - True to your Roots) - healthy enough to receive personal attention on your leadership growth journey?
B) Are you ready for possible opportunities when your life seems to be opening up?
Chat again soon