"Leadership" is perhaps the most talked about term in many circles today, not just in corporate ones. People talk about leadership in politics. One talks about leadership in sports, in technology, in the military and where not. What does it take to excel at leadership? What are the essentials of leadership excellence?
Leadership excellence essentials boil down to what kind of organization the leadership creates and what it leaves behind. These are the two ends of leadership excellence essentials, with a lot thrown in between. Different leaders in businesses or governments around the world have adapted different methods and yardsticks for achieving leadership excellence essentials. While these are quite varied and are in accordance with the particular and unique situation they were in; leadership excellence essentials can be related under a few broad heads.
The most central element of leadership excellence essentials is passion. There is not even the remotest chance of an organization even hoping for, leave alone achieving excellence if the leadership is not passionate about what it is doing. The leadership has to have the fullest conviction about the business it is in. It should have the kind of passion that is infectious and percolates to all levels. When the leadership is itself not convinced about the worthiness of the pursuit of the business, what kind of inspiration does it instill in the organization's employees?
Passion about the organization and its business is interlinked with vision. Vision constitutes the other part of leadership excellence essentials. The leadership should have the vision to assess where the organization is and prognosticate where it is likely to be in the future. Its passion for achieving the organization’s goals should be matched by the passion for taking the organization towards its desired end. These make up for the most basic of all leadership excellence essentials.
One of the essentials of leadership excellence is that leadership should not arrogate for itself the sole monopoly over the organization for all times to come. Even in the best of times, the leadership should consciously be working on how to build a team that handles the organization's leadership strategy.
In other words, it should avoid vesting all leadership in an individual. This should be avoided even if the organization is in the hands of the seemingly best leader at a point of time. This is because any calamity can happen to an individual at any time. An organization that makes an individual bigger than it risks running into serious and irreparable damage if the individual goes out of the organization or some other event happens.
Closely allied to the previous point; leadership excellence essentials aim to build a sound succession plan from a very early stage. No obstacle, manmade or otherwise, should come in the organization's way when it comes to business. As long as the organization is in sound and safe hands; all is well. But this should not lull the organization into complacency to the extent that it overlooks the need for cultivating leadership.
One of the hallmarks of leadership excellence essentials is that there should be a solid succession plan. This ensures that the organization does not have to get affected in the short or long term, no matter what happens to the top leadership. Grooming a good leader from within the organization is among the essentials of leadership excellence.