Over the years there has been recurring discussion relating to leadership development and right now one of the on-line discussion groups I am involved with is looking at the question: "What traits do you think our next generation of leaders should possess?"
There are certain things that seem to be self-evident. My research that lead to the 1998 book "Leaders: diamonds or cubic zirconia?" indicated that knowing yourself and recognising that you do have leadership responsibilities in at least some areas of life is at the very core of any group of essentials. Most leadership development programs address this issue.
But there is another issue that is less often addressed - and even then, often not very well. This is the issue of "creating an environment in which everyone can be successful".
With First Generation Leadership (G1 Leaders) and Second Generation Leadership (G2 Leaders) this was not so much of an issue. However with Third Generation Leadership (G3 Leaders) it is critical.
One of the key researchers of value to G1 Leadership and G2 Leadership in addressing this issue was Elliott Jaques who, in books such as "Requisite Organisation" (1998, Cason Hall & Co), made the point that leaders needed to have greater conceptual and complex information processing skills than their followers if they were to provide an environment in which others could be successful. Jaques' work is still absolutely vital for G3 Leadership.
But G3 Leadership requires another element - it requires the ability to manage down those areas of the brain that are not helpful in leader-follower interactions while simultaneously managing up those areas of the brain that are helpful. I refer to these as "Red Zone" (not helpful) and "Blue Zone" (helpful). Where the leader has his or her brain's locus of control is critical because only G3 Leaders are able to engage everyone with whom they interact: a G2Leader can engage only some and a G1 Leader can engage only a few.
This is the area of leadership development to which I will pay attention in coming blogs.
For more information about Doug Long and how may be able to help you, see http://www.dglong.com/
Please let me know what you think about this. Click on the comment link below.