I recently heard Brandon Wright on his excellent radio program, Wright Stuff Radio (www.wrightstuffradio.com), talk about leadership being a component of the responsibilities a leader has at 4 different levels – Self Leadership, Family Leadership, Community Leadership, and Career Leadership.
The levels Brandon discussed are very similar to our Leadership Circle Model shown on page 1 of The Leadership Compass. In this model, leadership is shown on 5 levels, expanding outward – You (or self), Family and Friends, Local Community (including businesses and non-profits), National Community, and Global Community. The more responsibility a person has in the local, national, and global community, the more important it is to have strong, professional leadership competence.
When reflecting on the areas where leadership is required it is important to identify where you may need to improve a skill or change a behavior so that you can get the best outcomes. By using this approach, you can assess which leadership level is your strong suit and which is an area you can focus on improving. For example, in my case, having recently moved to a new state, I am weak in my community connections and leadership responsibilities in local groups. Knowing this weakness guides me in how I can focus and take actions on the competencies that will improve my skills and behaviors as well as improve results at the community level.
Having an understanding of the leadership competencies needed within these different leadership levels is foundational to achieving the best outcomes in all areas of your life. Let’s expand the levels of leadership Brandon mentioned on his radio show and reflect on the leadership competencies needed that promote successful outcomes in each area.
Self Leadership describes the skill in which you manage your life and future. You are a leader of yourself and should constantly assess how well you are performing in competencies such as vision, motivation, integrity, planning, credibility, decision-making, problem solving, courage, time management, and stress management. Having personal competence in these areas helps you build greater outcomes.
Family Leadership describes how well you manage your family responsibilities and relationships. Often this is a shared set of responsibilities, jointly with a spouse, significant other, roommate, or even older children who have responsibilities in certain areas. Assess how well you are doing in this important leadership area considering the following competencies: trust, planning, time management, inspiration, communication, financial management, interpersonal skills, and conflict management.
Community Leadership is often overlooked as an important part of a leader’s role. You are part of a community, or even multiple communities since you may be a part of multiple community organizations – locally, nationally, or globally. Effective leadership is critical for the success of a community, whether a formal role such as political position, or a philanthropic role such as a fraternal or non-profit organization. Success can be assessed by looking at competencies such as creativity, interpersonal skills, initiative, vision, motivation, and commitment to diversity.
Career Leadership is where the focus on leadership development normally takes place. It is vital to concentrate on the continuous development of your leadership skills and behaviors in your professional world for your success and for your organization’s success. Our Leadership Compass Competency Model™ is based on professional assessment and development in 30 leadership competencies. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses helps give you better focus in leadership development for your position and specific career aspirations. A comprehensive series of self-assessments of your skills and behaviors in each leadership competency can be taken on our web site at http://renewleadership.com/leadership-competency/.
Leadership can be complex and should always be viewed from different perspectives. When we assess our skills and behaviors in each of the 30 leadership competencies, we are viewing leadership at the micro level. When we look from the perspective described by Brandon Wright and our Leadership Circle Model, we are viewing our leadership roles from a more macro perspective. The most effective leaders seek to assess and achieve from all leadership perspectives.
What leadership level is your greatest focus for making improvements and what competencies are necessary for the best results?