▼Keys To Social Impact Leadership▼
Great Leadership is courageously putting your money, time and energies where your mouth or professed vision, mission and purpose is, —in service of something larger than your ego, the status quo, or Machiavellian politics. Great Leadership is not about revenue, results or winning campaigns.
This is why Social Media is easy but what the world most needs — true Social Change through Social Impact Leadership, as true leadership, not cosmetic Corporate Social Responsibility — is much harder.
Yet as George Bancroft correctly said: “The measure of progress of civilization is the progress of the people.” And such progress is brought about specifically, through Social Impact Leadership. Provisioning innovative Capacity Building, Fundraising, Distribution, Expansion, Marketing expertise and similarly creative initiatives based not on reckless Risk Tolerance, but prudential Patience.
We're talking about the hubris of moral imagination emboldened by hands-on operational skills that measurably transforms lives.
We're talking about the applied art of Listening, Understanding and Building Trust rather than projecting (Western, or) one's values on low-income Patient Capital customers. That is, converting the “biology of empathy” as it relates to Highly Effective Leadership, organizational business performance or CSR, and even individual effectiveness, to bring about positively verifiable impact.
Work and contribution is already underway. But here first, is Acumen's Manifesto, followed by mine. Mouseover all text and images to explore additional resource:
Acumen: It starts by standing with the poor, listening to voices unheard, and recognizing potential where others see despair.
It demands investing as a means, not an end, daring to go where markets have failed and aid has fallen short. It makes capital work for us, not control us.
It thrives on moral imagination: the humility to see the world as it is, and the audacity to imagine the world as it could be. It’s having the ambition to learn at the edge, the wisdom to admit failure, and the courage to start again.
It requires patience and kindness, resilience and grit: a hard-edged hope. It’s leadership that rejects complacency, breaks through bureaucracy, and challenges corruption. Doing what’s right, not what’s easy.
Whether in business, politics or other spheres, true leaders build legacies that outlast them as they, adapt to disruptive events. And by that yardstick, Acumen has done pretty well. Indeed to be a true leader with conviction and consistency is to embody the Advanced Personal Leadership Principles taught in my Leadership Series. Which is why complementing the foregoing, my Leadership Manifesto declares and affirms the following:
A leader is a stable, tenacious, strategically oriented and highly accountable and disciplined executor, servant and enabler of vision, great ideas, great potential, quality, people and service in a way that ensures sustainability and continued success. (Click for clearer image).
To understand this definition, see in its entirety, the 2012 documentary Jaglavak, Prince of Insects, free on Hulu.
A person is a leader because they readily seize initiative and resourcefully tackle complicated challenges, intimidating, and commonly avoided problems while remaining courageous and wise enough to strategically “quit”, scale down or abort projects & missions.
A person is a leader because as a strategically oriented visionary and lifelong learner who is humble and pragmatic, they bring agility, context, risk management, critical and creative thinking, active listening, excellent communication, networking, human relations and negotiation skills; problem sensitivity, observational skills and an eclectic array of problem-solving skills that include the self-discipline to resist micro-managing and delegate tasks to those more capable.
A person is a leader because they absolutely believe in, and consistently demonstrate Respect and Dignity for ALL individuals in the organization or those under their command without Fear, Favoritism, Amnesia, Prejudice, Trickery/Sabotage, Gimmickry/Cowardice and other Manipulative Malice. A person is a leader because their ethical compass, the linchpin of which is fair-mindedness, is crystal clear whatever the context, and importantly, non-negotiable. And therefore, free of corrupt influence. A good leader therefore hires not only for skill but also for attitude so as to maintain an a*shole-free and hence, productive work culture that is more than a breath of fresh air, as is the culture of Google. A person is a leader because whether they are formally in a position of power or not, they foster, advance and passionately execute with good foresight strong ideas that serve the public good, solidify organizational success and cohesion and enhance individual effectiveness in a way that motivates, and is worthy of emulation. And they never feel threatened by another's rise.
A person is a leader because they appreciate that the exemplification of good judgment begins with the courage and self-discipline to do what is right and ethical no matter how unpopular; to protect and serve by refraining from illicit pleasures that involve dehumanizing (e.g., celebrating, encouraging, applauding or tolerating the tearing down of some/one, for the benefit of) others. Indeed, a good leader understands that failure in this regard, diminishes them. A person is a leader because they view their existence as a calling: to serve, deliver and over-deliver value while enabling others (in the tribe, group, team, organization, country or those under their command) to be as great as they humanly can.
A person is a leader because they are so driven by productivity, efficient use of time and resources and powerful results that they are “close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate”. And it is for this reason that whatever the context, a good leader is unconcerned with, influenced, or intimidated by the status quo, popularity, so-called “superiors”, survivalism, careerism, political correctness, or a FoMO (fear of missing out) syndrome.
A person is a leader because as a fearless, highly accountable and disciplined disruptor, trendsetter or trailblazer, they DO NOT subscribe to mediocrity because as a fearless, highly accountable and disciplined disruptor, trendsetter or trailblazer, they DO NOT subscribe to mediocrity. Their façade-free, 'just the facts, ma'am' disposition wins and builds trust, itself a rare and hard currency in the marketplace of Machiavellian (office) politics and business competition. As such, they tirelessly endeavor to get the balance between Management and Leadership right by getting Emotional and Social Intelligence right. A person is a leader because he/she is a tireless embodiment of true excellence, tenacity and accountability. And in order to be the change agent they are, they must be prepared to deal with C.R.A.P. This is what makes a leader dare greatly, whatever the odds. And finally...
A person is a leader because their readily verifiable actions, body of work and character speak louder than the biased commendation of friend, self proclamations, or bitter accusation of foes. And they thrive on sacrifice and patience that is rare in an age of inattention, knowing that “inventing and pioneering require the willingness to be misunderstood for long periods of time”.
So the question then, is, will you be a Leader/Builder? Or a cynic, interfering with others' self-determination and potential, as Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos asks? Continue where other change agents hang out. Proceed below. Or for leadership consultation, contact me here, or here.
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