The liberating leader: a manifesto
Our partner, *GiANT Worldwide*, coined the term ‘liberating leader’ to represent the kind of leader who is truly worth following. This article describes what a Liberating Leader is, why it’s so important, and what you’re ‘signing up to’ if you aspire to being a Liberating Leader.
Our (not-so) hidden agenda
Sure we can talk strategy, or value propositions, or tech-sector trends or organisational development. We love that stuff at xquadrant!
But there’s a deeper heartbeat at xquadrant. It’s to help leaders build amazing teams and organisations that accomplish great things.
In fact, we can go further. It’s to help ambitious individuals like you create a legacy of positive change and success in all circles of influence: personal, professional and community.
You see, xquadrant was founded on the conviction that great leaders accomplish great things precisely because of their ability to create environments where people grow and perform at their best.
This is not blind faith. In his bestselling book Good To Great, Jim Collins reported that he was surprised when the data from a serious research project found a direct linkage between outstanding long-term business performance and the presence of humble and committed senior leaders.
Collins coined the term Level 5 leaders:
Level 5 leaders …. blend extreme personal humility with intense professional will.
We found leaders of this type at the helm of every good-to-great company during the transition era.
They were self-effacing individuals who displayed the fierce resolve to do whatever needed to be done to make the company great.
What kind of leader will you be?
So here’s the question. We all have influence. We all lead in our different spheres of life.
The question, therefore, is not whether you will exercise leadership, but what kind of leadership will it be?
In the words of GiANT Worldwide:
We believe that if we commit to becoming and building leaders worth following, then we will see a massive shift in the cultures of organizations, families, cities, and countries across the world.
If we grow humble, liberating leaders then we will have less drama and insecurity within organizations, while at the same time improving productivity and health.
The manifesto of the liberating leader
Now, every community and movement has a set of rules & beliefs by which it stands. And because we are all about delivering the best possible results, we are in the business of releasing people to be the liberating leader that they can be.
So here’s a manifesto for the liberating leader.
None of us are perfect, and there is always room to grow. No-one is the perfect liberating leader. So this is not so much a statement of fact, but a statement of intent. It’s a declaration of the direction we desire to travel.
1. We pursue a lifestyle of liberation
We commit to becoming a liberating leader in all circles of influence: with ourselves, our family, our team, our organisation, our community.
We want to be the kind of leader that creates health and growth wherever we go. We want to be consistent and authentic.
As we pursue this lifestyle of liberating leadership, we aspire to be forever humble, hungry and smart.
2. We lead ourselves first
Before we lead others, we have to lead ourselves. Which means understanding our tendencies and replacing accidental behaviour with deliberate intent.
Simply put, we need to know ourselves to lead ourselves. Which means that we never graduate from the school of self-awareness; we remain teachable and embrace the opportunity for personal growth.
3. We fight for the highest possible good in the lives of those we lead
We fight for the highest possible good in the lives of those we lead. This doesn't mean softness: in fact, it means taking a stand and making tough decisions.
It does mean we are constantly asking ourselves how those in our influence can get to the next level, and how we can help them overcome the tendencies that are undermining them.
4. We bring support AND challenge to create a culture of empowerment and opportunity
Fighting for the highest possible good means learning to calibrate support and challenge. We know this creates empowerment, growth and opportunity.
We commit to discerning who needs more support, and who needs more challenge, and not to shy away from either.
5. We aspire to be leaders truly worth following
We do all this because we long for the ‘legacy of liberation’.
- Influence - becoming a leader people want to follow rather than a leader they have to follow.
- And impact - creating high-performing organisations that everyone wants to work for.
6. We push back our limits of liberation
We know that our leadership is limited by our own fears, doubts and insecurities. We know there is a wall of self-preservation to push past.
We commit to becoming secure, humble and confident leaders who are not entrapped by what we could lose, what we would prove, and what we would hide.
7. It won’t end with us
This journey starts with us, but we don’t want to end with us. We want to become a leader worth following, but we want to GROW leaders worth following too.
We see our legacy as being not only our own accomplishments, but the accomplishments of the people in whom we have invested.
So... are you in?
So that's a liberating leader. A level five leader who is truly worth following. Impact and integrity. Results and relationship. Someone who "turns things green" wherever they go and creates life, health and flourishing.
Do you agree with this vision of a liberating leader?
Are you in? Let me know.