In this fortnightly series, Alison Glynn-Baker discusses some key concepts in Mandy Holloway’s book, ‘Inspiring Courageous Leaders’. She also poses some provocative questions. We invite you to provide your opinion and join the discussion.
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by [those] who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare… Impossible is nothing.” - Muhammad Ali
Nine = Infinity
Mandy talks about the sustainability conundrum. How can a business achieve sustainability in terms of people, financials and the brand? For example, it is tempting to cut investment in people when the world threatens to go into economic meltdown. Some would say it is imperative. But is it?
Impossible is nothing. And possible is everything. The nine components of the Courageous Leaders Model are positioned around the Infinity symbol. This represents infinite personal and professional possibilities. The potential to do business differently. The potential to evolve as a leader on a journey of life-long learning.
Nine=Infinity. The Nine Elements of the Courageous Leaders Model
The rest of this blog series will explore Nine = Infinity in more detail. Here is a quick introduction:
As an emerging leader, how do you build the courage and conviction to lead differently? The first of the nine components is leadership mastery: embracing your best self and reaching mastery in relationships, the business and technically.
You build confidence in your leadership mastery by spending time in reflection. One tool you can use is Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats, which I will discuss later in the blog series.
Once you have confidence to make the right choices, how far will you go to put your leadership mastery into action? Are you prepared to take full responsibility for the consequences? This is the concept of conviction.
As an emerging leader, once you have developed courage in your leadership mastery, you can overcome a fear of or indifference towards having necessary, challenging conversations with your existing leaders.
Both emerging leaders and existing leaders need the courage to connect and commit - to meet in the middle, on common ground. As an emerging leader, you need to have the conviction to challenge the status quo. Sometimes even challenging existing leaders. And as an existing leader, you will need to unleash your courage to be challenged and to change. What starts off as an intimidating wedge of fear for both parties becomes a ledge of learning, untapping that infinite potential we talked about earlier.
The next of the nine elements of the model is challenge and how we respond to it. It is critical to drop the defensive behaviours, manage our emotions and embrace conflict.
How we respond to change is critical for our life-long learning, and for the sustainability of a business.
The last of the nine elements of the Courageous Leaders model is a high-performance culture. In a high-performance culture, a united population of courageous leaders is engaged in constructive and supportive behaviours, and is running a business which is sustainable in the long-term.
Maybe by embracing all nine components in our journey towards becoming Courageous Leaders, we really can create infinite possibilities. Is it impossible to make business about more than just the share price? As a Courageous Leader, what else could be possible? This is your chance to have your say.
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About Alison Glynn-Baker: Alison Glynn-Baker has 15 years’ experience in professional services marketing, business development and operations. Through her own consultancy, she has combined her two passions - training and writing – to help clients improve performance both personally and in business.