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Remodel or Rebuild? Leadership as a House

August 20, 2012

Here is a challenge for you: think of leadership as a house. Think of each of your roles, experiences, relationships as a brick (or a number of bricks), which you assemble in a meaningful way. Each room represents different aspects of your leadership. And, when your followers approach you, soliciting your leadership, it is very similar to someone knocking on your door.

Because our houses are so important, we need to ask ourselves: was my house built with a preconceived plan or constructed haphazardly as the raw materials came along? Chances are, you’ll determine that it was the latter—your own unique experiences helped you grow as a leader, not directed training or construction. Sometimes, the best thing we can do to improve our leadership is to demolish the entire house and just start over.

So, if you determine you need to demolish your house and rebuild, what’s next?  It’s simple, really: you find someone to demolish your home and then someone else to rebuild it. But, what if you could find someone who specializes in both demolishing and rebuilding homes—and, is in fact, ranked #1 in the world for their work in this field? Would you pass up that opportunity?

This is how I like to think of Linkage’s Global Institute for Leadership Development (GILD)—as the home-demolishing-and-rebuilding-leadership-development-experience. I think of our leadership assessment as the inspector who comes in to survey your foundation and walls, our executive coaches and individual development plans as the designers who lay out the specs of the new house, our faculty as the builders who construct the frame of the house, our learning teams as the workers who put up and install windows, and finally, our Year of Learning as your local handy-person providing check ups on your house—ensuring that everything is weather proofed and fixing the occasional leaky pipe.

Thinking about your own leadership—what maintenance have you been putting off? Are you interested in doing more work around emotional intelligence? What about being a more strategic thinker? Or working more to promote diversity in your work place? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Note: no actual homes were demolished or rebuilt in the making of this post.

 

About the Author:

Ashley Wollam is Program Manager at Linkage, responsible for its Global Institute for Leadership Development. A life-long, passionate student of leadership, Ashley received his early leadership training at the McDonough Center for Leadership and Business at Marietta College, one of the first undergraduate leadership programs in the country.

 

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