SLA Director, Geoff Aigner and author, Leadership Beyond Good Intentions, talks to CEO Magazine's Jay Garcia about how leaders can use their authority well.
"Using authority well means providing necessary functions of direction, protection and order to promote growth," says Geoff. "We would say that is actually compassion. When people in power understand their power and take responsibility for it, then we're actually starting to act compassionately."
The feature covers a number of elements to success in a leadership role including:
- The critical skills of collaboration: how to overcome the pitfalls of competition and control by being clear on purpose, role and power.
- The importance of helping an organisation see and problem and wake up to its opportunities by avoiding quick fixes and creating the right environment to 'build the relationship to the problem'.
- The job of a CEO to "project some sense of joy in their position to drive the company forward and encourage people."
Director of Social Leadership Australia, Geoff Aigner, joined the ABC's Liz Gwynn in the wake of the recent US elections to discuss the qualities of a good leader.
In the interview, Geoff talks about some of the common misunderstandings surrounding 'leadership'.
"People often underestimate exactly where leadership begins," he says.
"Think about parents, the first thing a child experiences in their life is one or two authority figures. Taking a child from birth into a functioning community member is an act of leadership. You're seeing growth and independence which we say is always the purpose of leadership: that things can grow and improve."
"It's easy to underestimate the power we do have. In all our systems, be in our homes, workplaces, communities or governments we have the power to make changes... Realising 'I'm not powerless' is the beginning of leadership."
"Leadership is changing and so are the courses designed to educate, guide and nurture the business leaders of the future. The community and corporate world's understanding of the role of the busienss leader is evolving - no longer are leaders looking merely for traditional technical know-how, or to develop the ability to make the big decisions, delegate and keep a company afloat.
"Some leaders are concerned not just about their legacies, but also those of their companies. They are concerned about the communities in which they operate and the environment, about employee wellbeing and solving problems not encountered by previous generations.
"Social leadership recognises "leadership which has a social impact," says [Social Leadership Australia Director, Geoff] Aigner. "What we mean by that from a practical perspective is that people have a clear line of sight from their leadershp role to the impact they're having on a number of stakeholders, not just customers or shareholders, but also community, government, environment."
""Those things are becoming much more important in the decisions that senior people are charged with making."" MORE >
Since completing Sydney Leadership in 2008, Priscilla Brice-Weller (pictured) has started a new not-for-profit organisation, All Together Now, to promote the eradication of racism in Australia. Priscilla's current project is One Parramatta, a local short film project to encourage young people in Parramatta to reflect on their behaviour towards people of different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. It also provides young people with information about how to speak up when they witness racism in the community. MORE >