The Cult of the Individual Leader
What comes to mind when you picture a leader? Someone who is ahead of the competition? Someone who is independent and always strives to be the best? Or it it something more substantial?
Leadership as most people picture it is usually a long way from what truly effective leaders are like. Individual powerhouses may take the spotlight, but only rarely do they achieve top results.
The kinds of results you want to see in your business are almost always achieved by strong leaders who work together.
To understand why the individual leader cannot consistently achieve top results, we must first understand why the myth of the individual leader is so prevalent.
Firstly, the phrase ‘strong business leader’ brings to mind a certain stereotype. It suggests individuals such as Richard Branson or Steve Jobs: people who we usually associate, for one reason or another, with success.
It is no wonder that most people expect an individual focus when they go off on a leadership or business course: their idea of leadership is individually focussed!
Secondly, it seems logical that you would want the best leaders working for your company. Topgrading is a popular trend at the moment, where candidates are ranked and only the cream of the crop are considered for leadership positions.
While hiring talented and dedicated individuals is a good place to start, if they end up fighting each other for first place much of their output is going to be spent in ways which will not help your business plan.
Thirdly, although many people don’t want to be managers, the idea of ‘be the best’ circulates through the business world as unwritten law. Most people are not even trained to work together effectively – simply to excel at what they do. While some competition can be a good thing, it should not be the only thing that drives your team forwards. If it is, each of your leaders is going to hold the others back (either accidentally or deliberately) in the battle to be ‘top dog’.
It is to their detriment that most business courses do not realise the value of strong leaders working together. Even dedicated leadership development programs fail to address the problem. No matter the strength of a single individual, your leaders will always be stronger when supporting and reinforcing each other.
An individual leader will not be able to achieve the results of a well synergised team, no matter how determined they are to be better than their rivals. If you want to achieve true results in your business, you must stop trying to build individual leaders and start building leaders who hunt as a pack.
So how can you create the kind of top leader who is not only strong in their own field, but elevates the performance of the entire business? In Part 2, we’ll discuss the four key ways in which this can be achieved, and your business can start employing leaders who hunt as a pack.
You can read his full article “Leaders Who Hunt as a Pack’.
If you want your leaders to hunt as a pack, why not get in touch and find out how Strategic Resource can help you?