Communication is the superpower of tomorrow’s leaders
People have been trying to define what leadership is at least from the time of Plato in circa 400 BC. Over the millennia definitions have varied from “mandate of heaven” to leaders having moral force of character to lead. In the 1940’s the research started to shift from in-built traits to effective behaviors that can be learned. Since then, leadership research has really taken off and there are probably as many definitions of leadership as there are writers.
A paper by Malik et al. (2019)* proposes the following definition:
“Leadership is a process in which a person or persons inspire(s) and motivate(s) the people to meet the shared goals or objectives which may be changed or added as per the needs and challenges. Leadership connects with the people beyond superficial or formal level, and creates a bond that motivates them to do things rather than forcing them.”
This definition stresses the inspirational and motivational qualities of a leader. Leadership is seen as influencing others. By this definition, in order to improve our leadership skills, we should focus on practicing our influencing skills, which are actually our communication skills. A skilled communicator influences, inspires and sets the direction. Skilled communicator also builds trust and team spirit.
Becoming a skilled communicator takes time and practice and starts with learning to listen. In addition of listening it is important to be authentic and true to yourself. Imitating others does not work. Your biggest strength and asset is your personality!
In developing your communications superpower JCI is an excellent practicing ground. There are of course trainings and formal speaking related events to boost your learning, but the real strength of JCI is in the diversity of its members. You are bound to come across with people from completely different backgrounds and professions. What is more everyone is a volunteer. If you are able to influence in this context you truly have great communications skills.
JCI as an organization strongly believes that anyone can develop and grow. Our global mission is “To provide development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change.” And here in Finland we are “a growth platform for forerunners striving for better leadership and sustainable change”.
In the future leadership is less about formal authority and more about informal leadership just like the kind that JCI enables you to practice. In that sense we are also in an excellent position to be active in renewing leadership of tomorrow. And for every member JCI enables a learning path if you are willing to open yourself up and take advantage of this unique environment and personal growth opportunity.
Carpe diem! Seize the opportunity in JCI to grow and develop your communications skills to become a fantastic leader of tomorrow!
*Leader and leadership: Historical development of the terms and critical review of literature, Malik et al, 2019
Text: Anni RasinenShare on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn