I recently attended a Chamber of Commerce event at which Fiona Wood, the Plastic Surgeon, commented that:
- “Leadership is being the best you can be and facilitating it in others”.
Difficult to argue with but for me it’s not enough.
Corporal Benjamin Robert-Smith, the recent Victoria Cross winner suggested that:
- “Leadership is about being able to inspire individuals to achieve a common goal”.
To me, this is closer.
Paul Keating recently commented at the ACTU Conference that Bill Kelty was one of Australia’s great Union leaders because of his:
- Capacity to persuade.
Again, I think this is an important component of leadership.
Going back to Corporal Robert-Smith however, he also commented in his address that:
- The first element of leadership is “courage” (and by courage he meant moral courage or integrity).
This I agree with fundamentally and absolutely.
Great leaders are people with real courage and who use that courage to inspire others, persuade others and facilitate others to achieve their very best.
This is something I believe that marketers can learn from. Not just in terms of individual leadership, but also in terms of brand leadership and corporate leadership.
It is something that our industry has largely forgotten about and to the best of my knowledge does very ineffectively, particularly in Western Australia.
In Western Australia we have an industry nearly berefted or moral leadership and we have certainly lost the capacity (if we ever had it) to inspire individuals to achieve their goals and be the best they can be.
We’ve got a lot to do to restore ethics, professionalism and true status to this industry. We have a lot to do to establish our leadership credentials.
That’s what I say, what say you?