Legacy Leadership: Bringing It All Together

“Principled leaders inspire and motivate others with a sense of purpose that goes beyond their own needs and desires; they are trustworthy and act as role models of universally accepted moral behaviour by mastering their behaviour and interactions with others through humility, openness, and vulnerability; by focusing on the empowerment of others and by being accountable for their own actions while holding others accountable for theirs.” (Hendrikz & Engelbrecht, 2019).

The value of doing ethical business

Camino Consulting has recently collaborated with Unashamedly Ethical (UE) to provide thought leadership on what it means to be a Legacy Leader. We discussed what it means to be a Principled Leader in our post about the monetary and other values of conducting ethical business. One of our associates, Karen Hendrikz, has conducted extensive research on the topic, in partnership with Professor Amos Engelbrecht from Stellenbosch University. She explained this in an interview with Harry Loubser, CEO of UE (view part 1 and part 2 here).

Self-awareness is key

A principled leader continually works at developing self-mastery by seeking feedback from others and choosing to react positively to the feedback. The leader’s thinking is marked by openness, courage, empathy, and autonomy. The leader uses this understanding of self to exercise appropriate self-monitoring and to interact effectively with others.

Additional thoughts on this topic were shared by various members of the Camino Consulting team. Vonnie Mostert, founder and Managing Director of Camino Consulting, reiterated the importance of personal mastery, the first characteristic of a principled leader, and gave further input on what it takes to be a leader in the current climate in an interview with UE. Marinus de Kok, business owner and industrial psychologist, shared how we help our clients develop self-awareness through the Enneagram, and shared from his journey as authentic leader – a video that has had more than 1400 views. Dr Johann Oostenbrink shared how to grow as a leader and Sonja van der Bank taught us about the different capitals leaders can tap into to assist them on their journey.

Holding others accountable

We probably all agree that accountability is a prevalent crisis in many spheres of leadership today. Principled leaders hold others accountable by regarding themselves as stewards of the organisation, who are responsible for the long-term success of the organisation.

Success should be understood as organisational well-being in the bigger picture, which includes financial and operational success, ethical interaction with all stakeholders and the environment, as well as employee well-being. Accountability includes taking responsibility for organisational performance and holding others accountable for their performance.

Trustworthiness and Empowerment as principles

Two additional elements of principled leadership are trustworthiness and empowerment. The principled leader’s actions are based on a strong foundation of universally accepted moral principles (values). These principles include being committed to something greater than oneself and having a deep-seated sense of calling, humility, integrity, honesty, transparency, self-discipline, and reliability. Such leaders are role models, who act in agreement with these values, and who promote a vision and strategy for the organisation that is inspiring, meaningful, and morally sound.

When leaders act in accordance with these values, they promote trust between themselves and their employees. Trust is central to team and company performance. Stephen Covey even said that the answer to “Do you trust your boss?” is more predictive of team and office performance than anything else! Patrick Lencioni also identified a lack of trust as a foundational dysfunction in a team. If we want teams to take accountability and deliver results, we must start by building trust. Working in a low-trust environment over a long term can create effects in people resembling that of post-traumatic stress.

A challenge faced by many leaders is how to free up their time so that they can focus on the strategic management of their business, rather than being tied up in the operational aspects thereof. To deal with this challenge, leaders should continuously empower and grow others. Rather than being focused on their own agenda, principled leaders place a priority on mentoring and developing others and see this as one of their core responsibilities. They build confidence and self-efficacy in team members by empowering them and by creating an environment that is fair and respectful. Principled leaders recognise that team members have unique development needs, strengths, and weaknesses. They care for team members and give them individual support. Mentoring and growing others also assists in ensuring that a succession plan is in place if the leader’s position should become vacant.

Camino Consulting believes in conducting business in a principled manner and in growing leaders to be the best version of themselves. We offer extensive leadership development processes and can work directly with leadership teams to improve collective performance. Contact us today.

*Source: Source: Hendrikz, K., & Engelbrecht, A.S. (2019). The principled leadership scale: An integration of value-based leadership. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology/SA Tydskrif vir Bedryfsielkunde, 45(0), a1553https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v45i0.1553