Of all the challenges business leaders face as corporate organizations grow in size and diversity, one stands out above others: the proper alignment of subordinates’ behaviors, goals, interests, and attitudes with those of the organization at large.
Without such alignment, leaders lead in name only.
They have the authority, but not the power to lead effectively. Subordinates may comply with leadership mandates publicly but violate them privately, with the result that institutional objectives are far less likely to be achieved.
Simply put, without the convergence of authority and power, there is no effective leadership. An executive might occupy a lavish and much sought-after office, but still not have any meaningful capacity to lead.
What does it take to solve the problem of how to reconcile authority with power?
Sanctions and rewards may help ease the problem, but they won’t effectively reconcile authority with power.
Leadership through trust would be more likely to turn subordinates into committed followers. The trouble is that trust cannot be acquired in the market at a price. And an army of consultants cannot build it overnight.
Trust must be nurtured over time – and it comes only to those leaders who have dedicated themselves to a higher life code.
That’s the essence of great-souled leadership.
As discussed in the Ten Golden Rules Of Leadership, great-souled leaders are morally astute individuals; dedicate themselves to a higher standard of personal conduct; don’t hold grudges and ill will against those who offend; are ready to assist those who are in need without asking something in return; remain calm in the face of crisis; dedicate themselves to principle without compromise; resist the temptation of petty vanities that impassion and misguide most people; are indifferent to status distinction of money, power, and titles; maintain personal integrity; and never submit to personal compromise.
Simply put, great-souled leaders earn the trust, respect, and admiration of their subordinates through their character, not through the authority conferred upon them by the corporate chart.
That’s the most effective way to reconcile authority with power.
By Panos Mourdoukoutas
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