“You did not act in time”.
Leadership is defined by action. We can’t agree more.
At Impact, we know leadership isn’t necessarily being a special kind of person: it is about a special kind of action.
It is an action which is seen by others as sincere, well-intentioned and reasonable in the circumstances and which mobilises others for the collective good, and changes things for the better.
As part of our experiential development approach, we contrive situations for leaders so as to heighten their opportunities for observation and reflection around their acts of leadership, or as the participants thought I said because of my New Zealand accent, the X of leadership.
I liked their point.
Action IS the X-factor of leadership.
It starts when we are aware and attentive to our internal and external environment, and we notice what is or isn’t happening and what is therefore needed now. In this context. We decide what to do and with courage, we take action. Action that is in the service of the greater whole.
And we all have it in us to take such action.
It is suppliable by anyone, regardless of our place in the hierarchy of our organisation or society.
And action we must take.
We have seen the momentum, how the single actions of a 16-year-old striking for climate change can mobilise action. We have seen what Extinction Rebellion can do.
This recognizing the need for such action and the courage to supply it, can be developed. At Impact we build leadership capacity to help leaders notice, decide and act.
On paper, it looks simple. But it is far from it, as it relies on a mindful presence, where we respond rather than react. Where we challenge the status quo rather than maintain it. For it is often in the humble lived daily practice of leadership, those subtle acts displayed on a moment by moment basis which effect culture change. Acts like when we finally speak up even though we may be judged harshly; when we listen deeply rather than offering what we already know; when we step back from our own way of doing things to liberate the brilliance of others; when we focus on what went well when all we can see is what went wrong; when we challenge the story we have been telling ourselves. The list goes on.
The litmus test is that the act stands out, and moves the group forward by changing pace, direction or focus. It changes things for the better,
Notice. Decide. Courage. Act.
What will you do today?
Penelope Mavor is an Impact Associate.