EPIC FLOW

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Archive for February, 2010

Leadership Anatomy

Posted by Herman Najoli on February 20, 2010

One of the key characteristics of an epic life is being in the flow of leadership. A few weeks ago I drove by a bakery and discovered the anatomy of leadership. I was attracted to the bakery by a group of people that were hanging out to get some free bread. I came up with the following four things that leaders should follow:

1. Follow your ear (I heard the noise)

Learn to act on what you hear your followers whisper. If you can act on the whispers, you won’t have to react to the screams later on. Sensitize your ear to the imperceptible cries of your people. Your ear should be able to vibrate with what is resounding from the lives of your followers. A leader should always have his ear on the ground but not all the time because if you are always bent on the ground and listening you can’t be able to see ahead. There must be a balance. The leaders ear must ring with the voices of the people. 
 
2. Follow your nose (Oh the smell of bread!)

Strive to perfect your ability to smell what is coming. I learnt this from watching leopards hunt back home in the plains of Kenya. Their main advantage is that they can smell their prey from very far. Let us endeavor to smell the future before it arrives. The better your leadership smell buds, the more accurate you will be in anticipating inevitable happenings. The leadership nose is able to determine what is good and what is bad. We like what smells good isn’t it? Leaders should be able to sense the flavor before serving their followers. That’s the key to winning their hearts. 
 
3. Follow your eyes (I saw the crowd)

This is where many leaders lose it. They leap before they look. In more adverse situations, they think before they look. I would like to change a very popular saying. They say “Look before you leap” but I say, “Look before you think and then think before you leap.” As a leader, you must be able to first analyse a situation, synthesise it and then pounce on it. Because leaders possess the big picture and see the whole view before their followers, they can easily be enticed by what looks appealing. Leaders should be able to see, then use their minds and determine the right course of action.

4. Follow your gut (I sensed they were getting free bread)

Intution is a leader’s best friend. This is something that many leaders have yet to fully grasp. You can’t teach anyone how to listen to the gut. It’s something that is cultivated personally. Just a little wisdom to help you as you do this: THE GUT SIGNAL is like red lights flashing within you. Leaders should be able to sense things so that they are not caught unawares.

Ear, nose, eyes and gut – the anatomy of leadership!

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