Many people would sooner die than think; in fact they do so. bertrand russell, philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic, political activist and Nobel laureate.
We continue our journey through SERVANT LEADERSHIP. This week we discuss the sixth competency in the SERVant Leadership...ON Purpose! series - CONCEPTUALIZATION..
Defined in the servant leadership context: Conceptualization - "Servant Leaders seek to conceptualize challenges, thinking from a holistic and broad perspective. They dream big and use systemic thinking to approach day-to-day operations. Servant-Leaders are forward thinkers, seeking balance in the dream and daily life."
In other words, it's the ability to create a future-oriented concept that provides vision and mission. What's the result for those you want to engage? Perhaps, it should be finding purpose in their engagement!
Robert Greenleaf observed “A mark of a leader, an attribute that puts him/her in a position to show the way for others, is that he/she is better than most at pointing the direction…the leader can articulate [the vision] for any who are unsure.”
According to Larry Spears - president and CEO of The Larry C. Spears Center for ServantLeadership - "The ability to look at a problem (or an organization) from a conceptualizing perspective means one must think beyond day-to-day realities. For many managers this is a characteristic that requires discipline and practice. Servant-leaders are called to seek a delicate balance between conceptual thinking and a day-to-day focused approach."
Servant Leaders Conceptualize IN Community.
Conceptualization does not occur in a vacuum. Servant leaders invite ownership FROM THE GROUP to help shape vision. In order to do that, servant leaders approach relationships on a long-term basis where expectations are defined and clarified. Which is why true servant leaders do not use others to meet their personal goals. Rather, they equip others to realize the group's, organization's, or, company's goals.
Servant leaders have a constant eye on the horizon and the "future-state".
They have the ability to conceptualize the inevitability of conflict and envision what that could look like. That means while relationship expectations are formed, a process for dealing with conflict is identified. For the manager, setting the tone is important. This may be as simple as, “I have an open door policy,” or “Retaliation is not in our vocabulary.” For more on the conflict dynamic, SEE: Conflict...ON Purpose!
Servant Leaders Nurture Conceptualization IN Self and Others.
Servant leaders do not necessarily dream and tell people to dream the same dream. Instead, they "dialogue to arrive at shared dreams as a means of weaving a collective narrative."
Questions to ask to ensure you are nurturing conceptualization:
As noted, servant leaders "conceptualize the inevitability of conflict and envision what that could look like." Crises can pull a team together. It can also bring to light a lack of certainty. A servant leader’s ability to be a non-anxious presence, even in the midst of crisis, is a testimony to their commitment to the vision. They see the future, anticipate obstacles, and refuse to abort at the first sign of trouble.
This is not to say servant leaders will take a group, organization, or, company to its demise rather than change the vision. Conceptualization is exercised consistently as a means of "evaluating the integrity of the vessel and seaworthiness for the journey ahead."
Testing the Team's Dream(s)...
In a book by John C. Maxwell titled "Put Your Dream To The Test", he encourages us to envision AND seize our dream(s). In the book, Maxwell outlined 10 thought-provoking questions to challenge us to take our dream(s) from conceptualization to reality. The 10 questions with a servant leader slant:
Dare to lead your team to dream!
My best to your quest!
I believe each of us is a gift. I create trusted relationships where individuals, teams and leaders NAME, CLAIM and AIM their gifts to achieve optimum performance.
Interested to Learn About Yourself or Your Team? Mark is a Certified CliftonStrengths Coach, Facet5 and TotalSDI Facilitator and happy to discuss your situation.
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About Mark Myette
I believe each of us is a gift. I create trusted
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