Leadership is the capacity to move others towards goals shared with you, with a focus and a competency they would not achieve on their own.”

John Graham

“Inspirational presence is the ability to connect authentically with others; to use our thoughts, feelings, and interactions to guide action toward our deepest sense of personal mission.”

Jeff Evans

“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between the two, the leader must become a servant and debtor. That sums up the progress of an artful leader.”

Max DePree

My favorite model of leadership is one described by John Adair in 1973. Elegantly simple, Action Centered Leadership (ACL) explains how the leader needs to satisfy and balance three sets of needs.

Unlike the manager who predominantly focuses on the task, leaders need to take care of the human element. This requires strong interpersonal and emotional skills.

Leaders recognize that the task often looks after itself when those being led are nurtured and served.

Consequently, there are a number of responsibilities that the leader takes on to ensure that the needs of all three domains are met.

In addition the ACL is an integrated process and leaders need to develop the following skills.

  • Planning – seeking information, defining tasks, setting aims
  • Initiating – briefing, task allocation, setting standards
  • Controlling – maintaining standards, ensuring progress, ongoing decision-making
  • Supporting – individuals’ contributions, encouraging, team spirit, reconciling, morale
  • Informing – clarifying tasks and plans, updating, receiving feedback and interpreting
  • Evaluating – feasibility of ideas, performance, enabling self assessment
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