The Leader Compass

One of the questions I’m often asked in the coaching room is “which leadership model shall I use?” Tough question; there are so many different models out there, a whole industry in fact, so being able to pick out and recommend the right model to the right individual is tough.

Having said that, I do use a really simple model as a starting point. I call it the Leader Compass and its usefulness lies in its simplicity and applicability to many situations. Here’s a brief and probably obvious explanation of each point on the compass:

Self – being consistently in the right frame of mind, self-aware and self-reflective, are all critical elements of being successful leader and surviving the course.

Team – as we can’t do it all alone, how do we take our colleagues with us, bind groups together and create functioning teams when we need? Just as importantly, leadership includes encouraging individuals to participate in full and empowering them to make the right decisions when appropriate. Often, we need to see issues with the group’s perspective and course correct with them.

Client – everyone has clients, be they internal or external, so having them in the room, either actually or metaphorically, is key to good client driven decision making and relationships. How do we get their voice into our ways of working at the right time? If we don’t, our competitors will.

Organisation – if you lead part of an organisation, is yours the place to be or the transfer to avoid? If you lead the whole, it will soon become a reflection of you. Is this something to aspire to or to actively navigate away from?

As leaders, we need to operate in a multidimensional way, and it is here that the Leader Compass can help. Are you thinking about your various interactions in the right dimensions? Have you thought through the issue properly and reflected adequately on the previous discussions about it? Have you considered how the challenge might impact the team in a different way to you? What is real client impact likely to be and how might it impact their relationship with your business? How does your approach show up in the organisation as a whole?

Even used as a simple check list, the Leader Compass can give more confidence that a particular challenge is being considered in the round.  As a result, it can help you make better decisions or simply move something forward in a slightly better direction.