Yep. Bullshit. Enough already!

Now, I have called bullshit before (yes, performance management, I am still looking at you), but I will assure you dear reader, that this is not something I do lightly or flippantly. In fact, the BS calling generally comes after one too many inane conversations, my second coffee kicking in, and my keyboard being conveniently close (my version of the holy trinity).

The thing is, I am absolutely OBSESSED with Leadership.

Great Leadership (even good Leadership) is a game changer. It achieves things. It gives people direction, purpose, security, recognition.

It binds people together. And, if you look back on your career – it is usually the single biggest factor that separates an amazing job experience from a horrendous one.

So, while I LOVE Leadership, I am calling bullshit on the stuff that gets ‘put around’ it.

The fancy Leadership models that require a 5 day off site training program, 10k investment and a ‘completion’ certificate to be able to use.

The self-proclaimed leadership ‘experts’ with their 28 handy (read – incredibly random) tips for being great.

The Leadership ‘presence’ coaches, that tell you to be a credible leader, you NEED to point to your slides in the ‘exact’ right place, have your hand angled at a perfect 45 degree’s, and use a serious, and lowered tone when speaking otherwise you will be a rubbish Leader.

Looking at the millions of Leadership models and frameworks (which there are literally 2.9 million of – thank you for that factoid Google), the thing that most pains my deeply practical heart is just how complicated some of us have made it.

In 2019, to be a great you need to be an Inclusive leader, a Visionary leader, a Situational leader, an Empathetic leader, a Servant leader, a Lean leader, an Authentic leader, an Agile leader, plus, if you work in a big corporate, being an exemplary role model of what is usually a laundry list of company specific competencies.

Now, none of these Leadership approaches are ‘bad’. Rather – the challenge seeps in when we are expected to be all of these things, every single minute of every single day.

The sad outcome is that we get so overwhelmed floating between models, searching for the ‘one that fits’, trying to remember to show gratitude to the universe (and instead forgetting to wish our team members a Happy Birthday), that  we actually just end up being pretty crappy leaders. Inconsistent. Confused. Unclear. Tired. With no time to do the things that actually matter to the people and businesses we are leading.

Enough is enough. I am done!

It’s time to get back the what we like to call at mwah. the ‘new basics’.

Now this may seem ‘slightly’ contradictory of me to diss Leadership frameworks, and to then, in the very next breath, throw my weight behind one. But that’s what I am going to do. And for really good reason.

We know great Leadership is critical. Tick.

We want to know how to be great Leaders. Tick.

We need the nonsense, complication, and dare I say it, profiteering bullshit to stop. Tick.

Enter Visible Leadership.

Visible Leadership Model

Now, this is not a new, ‘hot’ model.

In fact, it was adapted by the Chief Executive Women in partnership with the Male Champions of Change in 2014 as a way of looking at Leadership as simply being the shadow you cast. In Visible Leadership, four things matter most.

1) What you say

– in front of your team or a crowd, to the media, in interviews, in your emails, your reports, even your informal coffee catch ups. This is all about your words.

2) What you do

– your actions. What people see you doing. Walking the talk. Getting the things done that you say you will. Role modelling. Your track record. What you build a reputation for doing.

3) What you prioritise

– under pressure, what matters? What topics you always make time for, even on the busiest days. What always makes the discussion? Where do you focus your discretionary efforts and energy?

4) What you measure

– what you are looking for, noting, measuring, applauding, rewarding, recognising.

And when all four areas come together, and are focussed on the things that really matter, then you have great Leadership.  No certificate or coloured assessment needed.

If you want to be a great Leader – get these four things lined up and working together in unison, and you will be in good shape.

And that sound you just heard? That was the hundreds of thousands of Leaders around Australia, all breathing a collective sigh of relief and getting on with the things that matter. No BS.