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Meta Leadership : How to be A Successful Global Leader

Picture Source : Forbes

Leadership is evolving. We no longer consider it as one individual with a strong, authoritarian personality. Instead, leadership encompasses the impact on teams, organizations, societies, and even humanity. Moreover, our leaders are moving from an individualistic to a collective mindset. To win the global competition, we need Meta Leadership. Meta-Leadership is a guide to solving complex problems involving numerous stakeholders. It provides individuals with tools that are conceptually and practically rigorous so that they are better equipped to act and direct others when leadership effectiveness can mean the difference between success and failure.

In order to be a successful global leader, here are 3 dimensions of Meta Leadership that you should know :

1. The Person

Meta-leaders begin with knowing themselves and the impact they have on others. Meta-Leaders are grounded in who they are and why they are leading. Their authenticity rallies those who follow. Exhibiting emotional intelligence –self-awareness, self-regulation and motivation, their authenticity rallies those who follow. In stressful times, they are able to get up and out of the “basement,” the primal survival fear instincts of their brain that otherwise overcome rational decisions and actions. They foster this discipline and balance in themselves and others.

2. The Situation

Step one in solving a problem is in understanding it. The “Meta” view encourages a far-reaching analytic lens, recognizing the different experiences and motives of the many involved stakeholders. Building solutions requires development of options, engagement of key parties and negotiation of mutually acceptable and feasible solutions. The meta-leader recognizes that the size of the gap between perception and reality will shift and hopefully diminish over time. In practice, the anticipation of additional and more accurate information and the expectation that the situation will remain fluid for some time does not relieve the meta-leader of responsibility: it puts even more pressure upon a leader to assess when there is enough information and when there has been enough debate to move to action.

3. Connectivity

Meta-Leaders intentionally link and leverage the efforts of many different organizations and people. The work of meta-leadership is in forging a strategic connectivity for coordinated effort among stakeholders, reaching past the usual bounds of isolated organizational thinking, functioning, competition, and conflict. There are four distinct facets of meta-leadership connectivity defined by organizational relationships and power/authority dynamics: leading down to one’s subordinates; leading up to the people to whom one is accountable; leading across to other intra-organizational entities; and leading beyond to inter-organizational entities.

  • Leading Down

The meta-leadership framework emphasizes aspects of that practice which complement the other facets of connectivity. Individuals who rise to be metaleaders generally have their own organizational base of operations within which followers see them as in charge

  • Leading Up

In leading up, the meta-leader helps the boss focus on priority objectives and advances the organization toward key goals with personal costs or benefits as a secondary consideration. In so doing, the meta-leader crafts vertical connectivity and bi-directional feedback. Influence is shaped by informing and educating the boss.

  • Leading Across

In the meta-leadership framework, leading across refers to relationships with other departments or units within the same authority framework, or intra-organizational engagements. Leading across effectively generates a common yet complex thread of interests and involvement among entities that look at a challenge from distinct yet complementary vantage points.

  • Leading Beyond

Leading beyond – to individuals and inter-organizational entities – shares many characteristics with leading across to intra-organizational constituencies. In both activities, the meta-leader integrates different objectives, assesses and aligns motivations, and calibrates risk and reward sharing.

Source : Cambridge Meta-Leadership, Harvard University

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