Leaders have been dealing with challenging, uncertain business conditions for decades. Today, it’s a near-constant state of change. Organisations are required to not only adapt, but also to anticipate change, and leadership must keep up with new technology and innovative strategies.
Your voice is a powerful leadership tool that influences people’s perception, drives communication and helps you articulate your vision. Young leaders’ contribution punctuates their leadership style and directly affects their team’s faith in their leadership roles. But what does a strong leadership voice mean? And how can you cultivate yours to bring change and make a difference to the region?
Everyone is a leader, and it’s just that, one can be inspirational in difficult situations, energise and positively influence the team, mostly adapting the learning and language of employee or entrepreneurship motivation.
Therefore, using INSPIRE as an acronym, here are the seven traits that have set apart many a strong leader:
Ignite people with enthusiasm. But you cannot inspire unless you’re inspired yourself and get things done on time within expected results. Consistent passion is everything to drive and ignite the team forward.
Navigate a course and series of actions. Inspiring leaders articulate a vision that is simple, concise, bold and achievable. Passion fuels the rocket, but vision directs the rocket to its destination.
Sellthe benefit: Inspiring leaders sell the benefit behind reaching their vision. Both public and private sector teams care about their hopes, dreams and ambitions. Leaders should support people achieve their dreams and they will assist build tunnels through mountains to overcome challenges.
Paint a picture:Inspiring leaders incorporate storytelling in the workplace, these stories serve two services, educational and motivational, and build a brand of values with long-term success.
Invite participation at all levels. Inspiring leaders solicit feedback through regular engagement, listen to that feedback and incorporate what they hear. During this time employees can voice their opinion about current projects or pitch new ideas.
However, most employees, especially young people, want more than a pay cheque; they want to be appreciated for the impact they are having, and have amazing new concepts, especially technological projects.
Reinforce optimism. Successful leaders are more optimistic than average.
This doesn’t mean they bury their heads in the sand when the economy is going through tough times, but they are always focused on the long-term value their brand creates for the customer and build high performing teams.
Encourage employees potential; When employees know that you are committed to helping them grow professionally, they will return the gesture with respect, loyalty and commitment.
There are many consultants and institutions providing leadership development at all levels. Use them to INSPIRE others and to transform leadership for the 21st century Africa.
Executive development for the working up-and-coming leaders, who are going through tremendous change especially with automation, Artificial intelligence, IOT and infrastructural development.
Private and Public sector are already taking decisions for transforming leadership for the 21st century in Africa. Many universities including Nairobi, USIU, Strathmore among others are running excellent leadership courses.
The latest Adaptive leadership for Africa, in conjunction with one of the top institutions Harvard University is the latest training and right opportunity to be held in September 2019 in Nairobi , Kenya at thé Aga Khan University.
Such partnership course develops leadership and communication styles in a global context. To become an expert adaptive leader, and communicator, one can join the Graduate school of media & communication at the Aga Khan University to sharpen two of the most vital skills in leadership and be certified by Harvard University.
More universities need to run such leadership partnership certified courses in Nairobi to add value to the training leaders and growth of thé latest global business adaptation across thé région .
Transformational leadership theory however, can be applied to the development of the next generation of global leaders. It is linked to psychological fulfilment and a great contributor of human motivation, and can be applied across Africa, resulting in a better standard of human capital. Four effective components of transformational leadership are: Idealised Influence, Intellectual Stimulation, Inspirational Motivation and Individualised Consideration.
A leader that applies idealised influence takes up post as a role model that can identify with certain values of employees, influencing them positively. Intellectual Stimulation promotes followers’ efforts to be innovative and creative by questioning assumptions about their working environment. Inspirational Motivation sets an inspiring vision, clearly communicating expectations that followers want to meet. Lastly, Individualised Consideration attends to the followers’ individual needs and their individual differences are recognised.
The writer is a trustee, Brand Africa, and a director, EABC.