Sometimes we talk about leadership as an art and people agree and say ”yes, of course” but what is it that they actually agree with? What is leadership, what is art and what is the art of leadership?
A Culture of Leadership
Within Genuine Contact, we speak about a culture of leadership, where leadership is seen as a verb, something you do. I experience that there is a common misunderstanding that this verb, this action, should mostly be performed by those in leadership positions. Nothing could be more wrong. If leadership is going to be beneficial for an organization, everyone needs to commit to this action so that the work is done in the best way with the best results.
Art as a Measurement of Quality
So what about art? Wikipedia says that art, in one of many definitions, could be described as a way to express a person’s imaginative, conceptual ideas and/or technical skills. When we speak about the art of cooking or the art of leadership, we often use the word art as a subjective way to praising highly attained skills. We use it as a way to measure high quality and high value.
Art + Leadership = Art of Leadership
Mastering leadership so well that it becomes an art, will take some serious learning, experimenting and experiencing. Just look at how famous artists once were children playing with crayons and papers. Their masterpieces have been preceded by hundreds of drawings, some given to grandmothers and put up on walls, most of them thrown directly into the garbage bin. That is the way to become so skillful that people measure your work as art.
Mastering the Art of Leadership
When you learn to master leadership, the tool you use most is yourself. You are a full palette of colors, and learning to master leadership means blending those colors skillfully. There are art classes also in leadership. Learning the skills in an intellectual way will not be enough to become an artist. You will need to go out in the real world and start painting, meaning to put yourself in a place where you can take leadership. Your training will not need certain positions or assignments. You could take leadership for your family, for your organization or for the work that you do, whatever that is. Most of all you could take leadership for yourself, leading your life towards your goals. The possibilities are there. You just need to take a deep breath and make the dive.
When committing to this class of artwork, it is good to have some kind of support. Within the Genuine Contact Organization, we use mentoring to support each other to reach mastery. In our Quality Commitment, we agree to constantly work on our own skills development to uphold the quality of our work. This is done through mentoring networks, mentoring conferences and reviewing taken workshops or adding new. This kind of support is necessary in order to be a great artist. Look for a Genuine Contact Professional in our country or language area to find out how you could be supported when creating your leadership art.