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Understanding the Dangers of Leading

Recently we’ve been thinking about what it is to be a leader and how people not only get to be a leader, but how they learn to be a good one. Both don’t necessarily go together.


We read a lot. Yes, we should get out more I know, but we are very curious about what motivates people and what makes for excellent leadership in the current world. One book we know well and take some inspiration from is Leadership on the Line. You’ll find it recommended on our website Interesting Stuff page. Heifetz and Linsky talk about the difference between technical problems, for which the answers are out there we just need to access them, and adaptive challenges which require discovery and experimentation because no answer currently exists. One of the dangers of leading is that people often expect you to have an answer even when it is an adaptive challenge. The single most common source of leadership failure they say is that people, especially those in positions of authority, treat adaptive challenges as though they are technical problems.


One of the things we like about the book is that it works well alongside our philosophy and approach. Good leadership is adaptive. In other words, to change the environment and people around you means that you need to change – or adapt – your approach. It’s a challenge to the character, emotions and thinking, and true leaders are those who can handle not only situations but themselves.


But how do you lead through an adaptive challenge? It’s a profound personal challenge for leaders and it is something we mentor on in our Mastery of Strategic Influence workshops. Find out more on our new website – meantime we’ll leave you with a quote from an attendee at out latest workshop, held last month.

“ I attend many workshops and training sessions but this one was the best I have had in decades!  I now understand that my needs are important and that how I position my influencing skills help to maintain who I am, while still providing a superior customer experience …”  Procurement Commercial business Partner       (Global Pharma Company)

The Levati Team


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