Leadership is often discussed but rarely understood. A complicated discipline – it represents a mix of psychology, sociology, anthropology, communications, business, and political science theory – it is not easy nor for the faint hearted. Instead, leadership is a calling that requires dedication, perseverance, and humility. For those who persevere, however, leadership is greatly rewarding as leaders play a key role in creating, changing, and cultivating culture. But first, being an effective leader requires that an individual understand what leadership really is.
To many, leadership equates to management. And yet this is not the case. Management is focused on tasks and details and comes from a place of positional authority. In contrast, leadership is focused on vision and serving others from a relationship built on influence. Anyone with a title can demand a certain level of compliance from their subordinates; however, a true leader is one who not only inspires compliance but greatness. I grew up playing sports, and in that context we used to call it “giving 110%” or “running through walls.” At worst, management will result in people giving up when faced with a wall; at best, those people might figure out a way around the wall. Leadership alone is what inspires and enables people to run through walls.
The question becomes then, “How do I enable and inspire others to run through walls?” The simple answer of “being a leader” is not enough. What does it mean to be a leader? After studying many different leadership theories and perspectives, here at Inta-Great, we have come to believe there is a fundamental difference between providing a definition of leadership and providing a model of leadership. While a definition is simply about explaining a phenomenon, models are about what specific behaviors, actions, and character traits are effective or ineffective. Definitions describe; models prescribe. With that in mind, we’ve developed the following definition and model of leadership.
At Inta-Great, we define leadership as “a service-oriented relationship by which change occurs as a leader influences others toward a common vision.”
And, in order to be effective at influencing others in the pursuit of that vision, we propose that leaders follow the Inta-Greated Leadership Model consisting of the “Seven Cs of Leadership:” (1) Composition; understanding the unique personalities, strengths, and motivators of themselves and the team; (2) Character; cultivating credibility and moral authority; (3) Catalyst; inspiring and aligning action toward a common vision; (4) Compassion; coaching and empowering people to do the best they can; (5) Communication; persuading, presenting, listening, and negotiating; (6) Courage; seizing opportunities despite the inherent risk and uncertainties; and (7) Celebration; showing gratitude and celebrating success.
We believe that embodying the Seven Cs is what allows leaders to have an impact at the personal, team, and organizational levels ultimately resulting in real personal and cultural transformation and sustainable results. Please see a visual representation of the Inta-Greated Leadership Model as Figure 1.1 below.
Free from fads, fluff, and feel-good teaching, the Inta-Greated Leadership Model is based on proven leadership principles. To illustrate this, we will be publishing a series of blog posts in the near future that will discuss how each of the Seven Cs connect to the leadership literature. We hope that you join us as we explore the research and evidence supporting each of the Seven Cs and the impact they are capable of having at the personal, team, and organizational levels. And, as always, we wish you the best of luck as you continue on your leadership journey.