In our world this type of leadership is also imperative. For us to grow and be sustainable we also require the stability that leadership offer. Leadership is most definitely the critical link that connects strategy with people. Ultimately leadership ensures performance and results. At the same time leadership influences and directs the behaviour of individuals and groups in such a way that they willingly pursue what the leader is convinced should be done. We all have views of those non-negotiable qualities of good leaders, they should be visionary, inspirational, influencing, people centred and the list goes on...Have you thought of the quality that you admire most in good leaders?
I am of the opinion that “wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability” and it is for this reason that "stability" is the quality I admire most in leaders. Stability is something we don’t often think about as a leadership quality – that is until it’s absent. Think of the worst leader possible. I can almost certainly guarantee that this individual does not offer any assurance or a sense of solidity. Such erratic, or inconsistent leaders create unnecessary levels of tension, anxiety and discord. A lack of stability harms growth, stifles productivity, erodes trust, and makes it extremely difficult to focus on the task at hand. Instability is also an omen of bigger problems and things to come.
On the other hand, the beautiful thing about stable leaders, is they provide a stabilizing influence on those that surround and support them. These are individuals you can trust – they are leaders you can build around. Stable leaders bring certainty and consistency that we in teams, organizations and countries so desperately need, but often find missing.
Deepak Chopra confirms these thoughts on stability after completing an international survey on leadership. He writes.. “Offering and bringing stability is critical for all leaders. This is especially true as countries and companies are experiencing unprecedented challenges and changes. Political landscapes are changing, countries experience economic turmoil and businesses are shaped by these and other mass disruptions such as technology, social media and the convergence of four contrasting and dissimilar generations in the workplace.” Stability is therefore critical to reassure people and to inspire them to give their best. Challenges requires resolute and stable leadership”.
Few things positively impact a country, organization or team like a stable tone from the top. A humble and resolute confidence, a sure hand, and a steady calm, inspire belief in a leader’s competence and capability. Stable leaders not only know where they stand, but they also leave no doubt in the minds of others as to what matters, and what will and won’t be tolerated or accepted.
South Africa is not any different. The role players in our political landscape are distracted and there is a great need for composed and unwavering political leadership. Economically, we desperately require calm, competent and level headed leadership to assure rating agencies and the world that we are creditworthy and show promise of economic growth and stability. Firm and principled leadership is compulsory to save failing parastatals and struggling corporate entities. Steady leadership is greatly needed in churches, communities and schools. Even our national sport teams require established leadership that offer stability and a promise of consistency.
It is indeed a quality desperately needed. The best leaders in my view create a sense of hope. With them at the helm there is an expectation of better things to come. There is greater optimism and there are more authentic and lively discussions about the future even in the toughest times.
Part two will share questions that leaders should ask themselves about the pillars of stability.