The Elements of Leadership is not about developing our own system like many others have. Like the periodical table of chemical elements we're merely mapping what leadership already is. Trying to capture every aspect no matter how small.
Most systems of leadership concentrate on big ideas, but we all have different needs. Some are good communicators, some are visionaries, and so on.
For every leader you can identify you can also identify a unique set of strengths and weaknesses. Big idea systems are a one size fits all approach. The Elements of Leadership is about creating a laser like focus on your own unique qualities.
About the Elements of Leadership
We've arrranged and grouped the elements in a very specific way. We've also included things, like fitness, that others might think are not part of leadership. Most other leadership techniques for instance only concentrate on the self but what's the point if you're not creating a great culture around you?
The first group is "Self". This is the area most commonly focussed on. It's the foundation of everything else. It's the one thing you have direct control over. It's the most important because this is the area that will affect every other area, if you get this wrong then there's no hope.
The second area is "Vision". Vision can be a bit of a woolly word but it's important. There's no point in being a great leader if you've got nowhere you need to lead people.
Third is "Communication". So much has been written and said about communication. Once you have a vision you need to communicate it to other people. People need to communicate with each other to achieve that vision.
Finally "Culture". Creating a great culture isn't absolutely necessary but it will make your job as a leader much easier, well eventually anyway, it's definitely not easy to create a great culture. Culture is how people behave when you're not there. You're in for a rough time if you need to be around leading people all the time.
As a Leader you need to be as good (or better) than the people you lead. If you have a "Do as I say not as I do" attitude then you're not a leader, you're a boss.
Working on yourself is essential.
Many people think it's funny that we include fitness as an element of leadership. But there's growing scientific evidence that physical fitness is very important to all aspects of our lives.
Fitness improves mood, it helps deal with stress. It alters the way we look and therefore the way people see and treat us, maybe it shouldn't but it does.
And it's also about fitness of your mind as well as your body. The 2 are intrinsically linked.
Fitness inspires others. We learn about ourselves through physical and mental challenge. We learn to expand our comfort zones and gain more confidence.
Come on, I don't have to write a clever little bit about how important communication is, do I?
A great culture is the pinnacle of great leadership. If you've done your job right it means that people are doing great things even when you're not there to guide them.