Acts of Leadership are Everywhere
Acts of leadership are the parts of leadership that we like from people, teams, organizations, and cultures, that resonate with us, but that aren’t distilled down to their purest form.
Acts of leadership include items that we listed previously in our post about our core values, just separated and performed as discrete acts. This doesn’t impact their value or their ability to inspire, motivate, or move people, teams, and organizations toward action.
However, engaging with acts of leadership alone does reduce leadership itself to a state similar to that of a steroid or another drug.
Acts of leadership, when well executed, can provide teams and people with a brief surge of energy, but they wear off over time and the team—or person—reverts back to mean.
“Acts of leadership, when well executed, can provide teams and people with a brief surge of energy…”-Human Services Consulting and Training
Acts of Leadership are Embedded in Hidden Places
Acts of leadership are embedded in hidden places mostly in plain sight.
When a supervisor successfully engages and firefights with their team to accomplish a goal an act of leadership has happened.
When a manager rallies people on disparate teams together and keeps them aligned around a common goal or vision, an act of leadership has happened.
When an executive marshals all of her persuasive forces and delivers an inspiring message that rallies the teams under her watch and serves as a “shot in the arm” to refocus people toward accomplishing a difficult goal, an act of leadership has happened.
Most of these acts of leadership are confused by observers, actors, and participants with leadership itself, and this is because a fundamental truth is usually glossed over when these acts happen: Acts of leadership can become leadership if other acts are engaged in simultaneously and intentionally with equal energy and level of focus.
Acts of Leadership are as Hard as Pure Leadership Itself
Acts of leadership are not easy.
For many positional leaders in dominance hierarchies, from supervisors to executives, acts of leadership require the marshaling of many internal emotional and psychological forces and can be laborious and draining.
This is why training and development for supervisors, managers, and executives is important for three main reasons:
- Training focuses their hearts and minds on the value of acts of leadership transmuting to leadership itself.
- Training helps provide and encourage confidence and reduce the fear and anxiety that even committing to acts of leadership can sometimes generate.
- Training allows mistakes, failures, and stumbles to occur in a “low-risk” environment that doesn’t impact the people, the team, or the organization negatively.
However, training, combined with coaching and support can move the process along in a manner that ensures organizational leaders at all levels will have the confidence to remember, act, and lead, rather than shrink at the leadership challenge.