In Praise of The Incomplete Leader
By Deborah Ancona, Thomas W. Malone, Wanda J. Orlikowski, Peter M. Senge
In today’s world, the executive’s job is no longer to command and control but to cultivate and coordinate the actions of others at all levels of the organization. No one person could possibly stay on top of everything. The incomplete leader knows that leadership exists throughout the organizational hierarchy-wherever expertise, vision, new ideas, and commitment are found. Over six years research on leadership shows that leadership is a set of four capabilities: sense making, relating, visioning and inventing.
Sense making- It means understanding the context in which a company and its people operate. Good leaders understand that sense making is a continuous process; they let the map emerge from a melding of observations, data, experiences, conversations, and analyses.
Relating- Relating means building relationships within and across organizations. Three key ways to do this are inquiring, advocating, and connecting. Inquiring means, listening with the intention of genuinely understanding the thoughts and feelings of the speaker. Advocating, as the term implies, means explaining one’s own point of view. This is how leaders make clear to others how they reached their interpretations and conclusions. The third aspect of relating, connecting, involves cultivating a network of confidants who can help a leader accomplish a wide range of goals.
Visioning- Visioning involves creating compelling images of the future. Fundamentally, visioning gives people a sense of meaning in their work. Leaders who are skilled in this capability are able to get people excited about their view of the future while inviting others to help crystallize that image.
Inventing- Inventing moves a business from the abstract world of ideas to the concrete world of implementation.
These four capabilities mentioned above are interdependent. Without sense making,...