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How to Become a Beyond the Basics Leader?

A Beyond the Basics leader is someone who can take an organization from its current state to a future state that is bigger, different, and better with and through others. He or she is able to paint that picture of the ideal future state, then marshal and align all the needed resources and remove barriers to ensure people feel good about the journey.

Beyond the Basics leaders make a real impact by initiating change in a societal system, like Mahatma Gandhi, who used his management and leadership to create change in the world. Beyond the Basics leaders understand that it may be a longer journey then anticipated and they may have to walk alone from time to time, as everyone around them may not be willing or able to stay the course. So, be prepared for the solitude in the journey that will allow you to become crystal clear on your vision and goals.

Visionary Thinking
Beyond the Basics leaders also have a responsibility to connect the fundamentals of their vision, planning and actions in the context of thinking. Connecting vision, actions and results depends upon effectively applying “visionary thinking” practices and principles. As such, Beyond the Basics leaders leverage the art of Visionary thinking to inspire others to embrace the vision, actively work toward achieving a common goal and make communication the cornerstone of the organizational culture. Visionary thinking provides Beyond the Basics leaders the means for strategic direction and specific deployment actions. Beyond the Basics leaders inspire great loyalty and trust in their followers.

Leadership Practices and Commitments
As a Beyond the Basics leader, it is important to model commitment to the values of your organization. Beyond the Basics leadership requires the emergence of six key characteristics. In examining these characteristics, we can recognize a clear model for the qualities that are critical to the development of a Beyond the Basics leader: To further describe Beyond the Basics leadership as a quantifiable, coachable, and trainable set of behaviors. Seven practices of a Beyond the Basics leader are defined and subdivided into 12 leadership commitments below.

Accessing Strengths and Stretches: Recognizes his or her own strengths, as well as areas where he or she may need to stretch beyond his or her current level of expertise, knowledge, and skills.
  1. Identify his or her own strengths and seeks sources that will enable him or her to grow into stretch areas (e.g., professional development, mentorship, taking on unfamiliar projects in order to grow their skills, etc.).

  2. Recognizes his or her followers’ strengths and stretch areas and creates opportunities for them to explore and grow in both areas.

Paving the Way: Creates a standard of excellence for the entire team and leads by example.
  1. Finds his or her voice by clearly illustrating personal values with the utmost integrity and consistency.

  2. Aligns actions with his or her organization’s shared vision.

Empowering Others to Grow: Activates the personal potential of team members by actively involving others and fostering collaboration
  1. Builds trust to advance shared goals by creating a culture of diversity, equality, and inclusion.

  2. Strengthens others by sharing power and responsibility, and by actively involving team members in the decision-making process.

Celebrating Wins: Recognizes and rewards accomplishments and acknowledges individual and team contributions.
  1. Measures and monitors desired outcomes and shows appreciation for individual contributions and excellence.

  2. Creates a spirit of community by celebrating collective values and accomplishments.

Taking Risks: Looks for innovative ways to change the status quo.
  1. Searches for opportunities to be innovative out-of-the-box thinkers and to grow and improve.

  2. Tries new strategies by taking risks, learning from mistakes, and constantly generating small wins.

Creating a Legacy: Expands his or her vision for the future and enrolls others in the idea so that it can flourish now and in the future. Envisions the future by stimulating and elevating possibilities.
  1. Enrolls others in a shared vision and shared aspirations, such that the work can go on even in the absence of the Beyond the Basics leader.

  2. Leaves behind standards, strategies, and visions that are replicable and sustainable, and that can grow and evolve when the Beyond the Basics leader is no longer around.

Things may not always be perfect, but a Beyond the Basics leader can fix failures quickly and course-correct to move in the direction of a greater vision and remain consistent when applying the seven key characteristics and corresponding commitments outlined above. Create and become the change that we wish to see in the world of work. Leading Well, Beyond the Basics!

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