The third post in my “Leadership Recap” series…
Gold leadership, is the one above silver and bronze, that is. Sorry if you were expecting a very sophisticated definition.
If I describe the Gold, you can figure out what Silver and Bronze might be. Certainly a very rich set as well, all excellent. Just, not Gold.
This is Gold:
- Ahead of the game, a few or more steps than anybody else. A bad reader thinks that this Gold leader is on a different planet. But the Gold leader is not; he/she simply sees this planet from a different angle. An angle that not many people see. This is visioning at its best, not dreaming. He/she is also not entirely apologetic about this.
- Imagination at work, which needs some (often irritating sounding) detachment from daily life; even if that daily life sucks the Gold leader into factual problem solving. Even a crisis that is in the process of being addressed, by no means solved, elicits in the Gold leader the thinking of how to avoid a new one, or different one, which annoys people trying to solve the crisis of the day.
- The Gold leader refuses to obey the ‘one thing at a time’ rule. For the Gold leader, sequential stuff is overrated.
- The Gold leader refuses to see ‘focus’ as something you see through a tiny hole. Focus is often confused with determination. The Gold leader is focused but has more than one target to focus on. He or she particularly likes people who can have a broad vision and a good helicopter view, and then can focus. Which confuses some.
- The Gold leader thinks legacy, even when nobody expects that he or she thinks legacy, not yet. It’s mainly not personal or ego legacy, but thinking about the building that is being built. Sometimes nobody seems to see the walls. Gold leaders do.
- Creates space and time by stealing them, by refusing to be drawn to busy-ness. This is both for himself/herself and for others. It has nothing to do with ‘free time’ and ‘thinking time’. It has to do with the War on Stupid Busy-ness
- The Gold leader is brilliant at enhancing the possibilities and life of people. He/she puts people in the right places, which includes stretch. There is nothing altruistic or naïve in this. He or she has perhaps innate hope in human beings, but may not be too vocal about it.
- The Gold leader refuses to play the role of having all the answers or knowing the exact point of destination, but at the same time brings others to figure out the journey (and may close the door and throw the key out of the window until everybody is on the same route plan)
- The Gold leader not only accepts but promotes areas of ineffectiveness in the organization life, where things are not super perfect and super clear and perhaps there are elements of waste. The Gold leader knows that this is the only way to get better and better and succeed. But he or she can be seen sometimes as too tolerant with some ambiguity.
- The Gold leader is both very strategic and very tactical, so it does not fit into the assumed bipolar view of the world. In fact, the Gold leader surprises others with the apparent confusion. Often some tactical moves for others are very strategic for the Gold leaders, and vice versa. That distinction does not sit comfortably in the Gold leader’s mind.
If you see one of these, work for or with one of these, congratulations. If you are one of these, think Platinum.