Vision into reality

By George Ambler via   Article

The Three Domains of Effective Leadership

“As a start, let’s the explore one definition of leadership.

‘Leadership is a process of influence that generates the commitment and capabilities required to translate vision into reality.’

Expanding on this definition helps to explain the purpose of leadership:

  • Leadership is a process that creates change. It’s the purpose of leadership to bring about change, to drive innovation, encouraging people to take risky action. If there is no need for change, there is no need for leadership.
  • Leadership is about influence. Leadership is a social process resulting in the voluntary commitment by others to the achievement of a shared vision and the process of change.
  • As leadership is about change it requires the development of the capabilities necessary to translate vision into reality.

Now we have a definition let’s move on to discuss what makes for effective leader.

The Three Domains of Effective Leadership

Effective leadership is exercised through three domains – strategic, team and personal leadership. Exploring leadership through these three perspectives helps provide insight into the skills and practices that make for an effective leader.

The effective leader develops by evaluating their leadership skills through these three interrelated lenses. Then seeks to strengthen the gaps identified in each of the three domains.

‘Control is not leadership; management is not leadership; leadership is leadership. If you seek to lead, invest at least 50% of your time in leading yourself—your own purpose, ethics, principles, motivation, conduct. Invest at least 20% leading those with authority over you and 15% leading your peers.’ – Dee Hock, Founder and CEO Emeritus, Visa

Before exploring each leadership domain in more detail, we must acknowledge that no model – however good – will comprehensively capture all the elements that makes for effective leadership. As George Box noted ‘all models are wrong, but some are useful.’ This model is useful as it provides a representation of the key domains of effective leadership. And effective leadership is one that leads to the achievement of shared vision and outcomes. It’s intended to be used to help guide the development and growth of effective leaders.”


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