Competitive Will has been fortunate to work with some organizations in the last few months on leadership development. Through team building exercises and workshops we have diligently discussed the concept of leadership. Key aspects we have approached include trying to view leadership as a task orientated approach.

In the team building sessions, our focus was on communication, perseverance and problem solving. Challenges that arose for subgroups included other teams finishing quicker and the feeling of pressure to complete increased for teams. Another example was when subgroups and teams  that finished entering the role as supporters proved to be a challenge as our task centered approach dwindled (no more outcome – a little bit like “I’m done how can you not be?”). What worked great was revolving these activities around concepts of communication, perseverance and problem solving. This provided great feedback with a narrow focus on objectives.

During the workshop we once again approached conversations using a task orientated approach. Meaning defining leadership in areas the individual can develop. Key areas and definitions that were discussed included:

  • communication: verbal and nonverbal cues of how we perceive and are perceived in situations.
  • problem solving: involves how we view our daily intentions and what we want to accomplish
  • perseverance: ability to overcome adversity and set backs
  • proactive: taking steps forward, initiative instead of reactive responses
  • self-managed: conscious effort towards your strategy of success
  • self-awareness: what are your current strengths and areas of improvement?
  • social awareness: aware of others feelings or concerns
  • discipline: our control, commitment and challenges day to day
  • confidence: preparation and focus on daily tasks
  • motivation: intensity and direction of effort

These aspects are all in our control as individuals. It may be more difficult on some areas for individuals but they can all be within our control and can be created in an efficient manner. Leadership can be derived from these focus points. For example, leadership involves our daily ambition to solving problems. From missing the bus to finalizing a merger, leaders are able to choose a path for success and not let the failure hinder their opportunity. Another great example of leadership is the trial and tribulations Travis Ishikawa went through before hitting the home run that sent the Giants to the World Series. Ishikawa has a 2010 World Series ring but lately has been struggling to stay put with a major league team. April 19 he was designated by the Pirates and six days later signed a minor league contract with the Giants. For months he was stuck in Fresno and on July 29 the Giants purchased his contract, he got 47 games in and all of a sudden was the starting left fielder this post season.  Although there were times he thought about quitting he didn’t and now he has an outcome all athletes crave for. To me that is leadership, and is a great example of how everyone can be a leader.

Most importantly these areas can all be developed, to do so – an individual must get out of their comfort zone and think outside the box (also keys to high performance).


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