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COMMENTS | Blog Digest April 19, 2006

Building a Consensus on Leadership

Author: Bud Bilanich [bbilanich.typepad.com/blog/]

I received a very interesting response to last week's post on leadership. If you recall, I asked people who read this blog to send me their comments on what makes for good leadership.

Per Wendelboe Nielsen of Stockholm Sweden was one of the first people to respond. He sums it up in one line — Leadership is daring.

Per has given me his permission to post his e mail to me. Read on...

Per Wendelboe Nielsen's Thought on Leadership

I am a relatively young (30 years) aspiring leader and as such my view on leadership is centered around the challenges a young leader faces in his first management position.

I can sum it up in one line: "Leadership is daring."

Why daring? Well, the way I see it, as a young leader the perhaps biggest challenge is to establish your authority and win respect throughout the organisation, and to do that with little or no experience — you have to dare putting yourself out there.

Dare to stand by your personal standards — you are you and you cannot change the person you are while also focusing on your development as a leader.

Dare to admit when you are in over your head — no one expects a young leader to have all the answers, dare to ask for help from your mentor if you are in over your head.

Dare to put yourself out there — Go into that presentation with your head held high regardless of how many years the rest of the management group have on you — you are judged on appearance just as much as your skills (and content of presentation)

Dare to make decisions — If you genuinely worked through an issue and feel you have the right solution, dare to put it to action, this is expected of any leader, young as well as experienced.

Dare to stand by your responsibility — You are the boss and if something under your control goes wrong then that is first and foremost your responsibility — you can look into the root cause and blame everyone but your mother — but at the end of the day, the responsibility is yours.

The list above is of course in random order, and it only touches on some aspects of leadership but it has helped me put my priorities straight and guided my actions as an inexperienced leader. Most of the above points are perfectly valid for experienced leaders also but they are (in my opinion) essential to an aspiring leader starting out on his career.

I really like Per's idea. As I think about it, ladership really is daring.

Please send me your thoughts on leadership — or post them as a comment. I'd really like to get a healthy dialogue going on this topic.


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