One of the essential skills that’s highlighted in so much of the literature that currently abounds on the subject of leading in the twenty first century is the need for leaders to be able to shape and grow the culture within their organisations. Further, in our experience, leaders want the culture they develop to be constructive.
In expressing a desire to reshape their culture to be more constructive, a Senior Leadership team member remarked that would require her and her colleagues to be brave. That raised the question, is there such a concept as brave leadership? In reality there is. George Bradt and Gillian Davis in their book First-Time Leader share what Brave leadership is.
Brave leaders accept that leadership is not about them; rather it’s about inspiring and enabling others to do their absolute best together to realise a meaningful and rewarding shared purpose, cause, or belief. For Bradt and Davis Brave is the acronym for behaviour, relationships, attitude, values, and environment.
Environment sets the context for everything else in terms of where you are playing.
Values are the bedrock of a high performing team. Get clear on what really matters.
Attitude encompasses strategy, culture and approach to choices around how to win.
Relationships are the heart of leadership. If you can’t connect, you can’t lead.
Behaviours are the actions that make real lasting impact on others.
They concluded there were a number of aspects that needed to be present for any leader to be brave.
- Environment. Today’s environment is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous; clear understanding of the context, boundaries, and limitations is essential. As a leader be able interpret and create an easily understood context for your team. The context includes both what others have decided for you and the choices you and your team get to make.
- Values. High self-awareness is needed to understand your own personal values and the organisation values. Values are critical in guiding a leader’s action, particularly during those times when action is required under pressure. Also, Values from the perspective of knowing what value is created or results from your decision to initiate action.
- Attitude and belief. In initiating a brave action as a leader you have strategic and cultural choices to make centred around to what you and others need to direct your focus and energy.
- Relationships are the key to everything. As a leader everything you do or don’t do, say or don’t say and listen, observe, or comment on is noted 24/7.
- Behaviour. Lead from the front to get things done through people – be the pacesetter. However, in doing so set an appropriate pace, one that matches the circumstance ensuring the pace is not so slow that it impedes progress, or so fast people disengage because they are unable to deliver outcomes or maintain momentum because the demands and pressures are too high.
Pretty much in any context as a brave leader you act on what you believe you need to do despite harbouring some concerns. The operative word is ‘acting’ meaning that you have to initiate action if you want your organisation’s purpose, cause, or belief, to become a reality. Further, for your purpose to become a reality it requires you as a leader to have courageous followers.
Vivente Australia enables leaders and managers develop the bond between people and performance, creating a powerful advantage: the synergy between people, leadership, management, and culture, produces performance that allows your business to achieve its best.