Last week’s holiday celebrated Independence Day. Although it’s more familiarly known as “The Fourth of July,” its origins are based on a signal event in our country’s history. Considering this led me to think about the concept of independence and how it relates to leadership, and then another leadership paradox appeared. Most of the strong leaders I know have a great capacity for independence. They are comfortable seeing things differently, having a minority opinion, and taking action when others might hesitate. The paradox is that too much independence can lead to isolation and marginalization, thus becoming ineffective as a leader.
Food for Thought ~
Leaders need not only the capacity for independent thinking, but the capacity to relate and interact with their constituents and find ways to achieve group consensus, which is even more powerful than individual brilliance. Independent-thinking leaders make a significant contribution. They raise the discourse to a higher level and are able to step, or even leap forward when the situation requires boldness. They also understand and appreciate the greater truth of interdependence.
Question of the day ~
How do you express your independence as a leader? Have you found an optimal integration of leadership independence with dynamic group process?
This is the last call for a direct link to my recently-published article on leadership self-awareness.
Celebrating independence and interdependence,