Organizational leadership is an important management concept in which a leader works not just towards what is best for the team, but also for what is best for the individual. It is both a work ethic and an attitude and it can be applied at all levels of the organization. According to experts like Stephen Varanko III, it would require almost a lifetime to describe every element of organizational leadership. However, there are five key components to it.
Stephen Varanko III on the Five Components of Organizational Leadership
First of all, it is important that an organizational leader understands their own worldview and that of others. This is different from political stance, identity, or religion, although it does include this. Essentially, it talks about what people believe, tangibly and intangibly, the world is about. It describes people’s opinions, attitudes, outside forces, and beliefs. Most of all, it explains why people behave the way they do in the world. Understanding this is of vital importance for the organizational leader because there is so much diversity in the workplace, which can be conflicting.
Secondly, a true leader is able to identify the strengths in their team and capitalize on those, while working around any weaknesses. A true strength is one that is consistent and should be present around 95% of the time in order for it always be successful. Strength is made up of talent, knowledge, and skills and a good organizational leader can recognize them all. At the same time, a true leader knows no one person has all the necessary strengths, which is why the focus is also on working together.
In order to be a leader, people have to have clear ethics, which balances loyalty and truth, communities and individuals, the long- and short-term, and mercy and justice. It isn’t about compromising, it describes the way in which a leader always approaches issues and problems. It means being engaged, but being impartial at the same time. A good leader looks for hidden alternatives whenever ethics are into question, effectively navigating not just right and wrong, but right and right.
Without communication, the world simply cannot function. This goes beyond visiting, calling, emailing, or messaging someone. It is about the concept of VABE (Values, Assumptions, Beliefs, Expectations) of the parties involved in communication. A good leader understands worldviews and VABEs and incorporates those together in order to hear the things that aren’t being said as well.
Last but not least, understanding organizational leadership means being a leader. A lot of people are afraid of doing things wrong and being rejected, and this stops them from being a leader. A true leader tells the truth, keeps their promises, is fair, and respects people individually. They must also be determined to do good and to bring their organization forward.
With these five qualities, someone can develop into a true organizational leader. There is a lot more to it, but this is the most important foundation.