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Davidson is a certified professional trainer, business coach and management consultant.

Driven by passion, he is an engaging and versatile presenter with over 20 years of experience in the training industry. Over the course of his career, he has trained over 1,000 companies comprising start-ups, SMEs, MNCs, government agencies and others all over Southeast Asia.

Below are Articles and posts I have written over the years and published on Various media.

What is the future of Leadership?

The word leadership is banded around a lot. We talk about leadership being the holy grail of the future, for organisations, for community and mankind. Leadership, however, is an ever-evolving concept and the requirements for good leadership is constantly changing. Every generation, every social climate brings different needs and requirements from their leaders and it is important that as leaders, these are acknowledged and met for good leadership to happen.

In the past and even currently, leadership by compliance has been the norm and they have worked to a certain extent. This type of leadership is akin to a leader sitting on top of a pyramid and ruling by decree. It is a “do as I say” type of leadership where thinking and challenging are detrimental to the status quo and does not serve the organization. It is built on a culture where people are resources, a means to an end and not as human beings with their own values, beliefs and more importantly, where their abilities and whole selves are not developed to their full potential. They are employed to serve and fulfill the needs of the organisations first and foremost. This type of leadership requires their people to leave their sense of self at the door when they step through the doors of their organization and to perform accordingly.

 Where we are now?

Today, there is a clear need for a new way forward for leadership. In the throes of the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, we only have to look at the some of the leaders that we have, leading the way to humanities’ destruction at a global level and at an organisational level, the organisations that have suffered drastically or not survived through the crisis. This group of leaders worked from a place of ego and detachment and thus, were unable to lead with heart and mind in tandem. I accept that at the organisational level, this was not always the case and that there are other factors to take into consideration. On the flip side, let us look at the leaders that have managed to move forward despite the crisis. This group of leaders practice a more holistic leadership style. They integrate their character and values into their leadership, and they understand that they bring their whole selves to their leadership role – body, mind, and spirit. In my opinion, this leadership model is the way forward. The elements of the holistic leadership model are not set in stone, but the following are the character traits, which I believe encompass this type of leadership:

Servitude – sees their role to serve, empower and grow their people. This leads the way to developing new leaders who are also holistic in their approach.

Emotionally Intelligent – works on developing their own self-awareness and personal development. Understands their own values and beliefs and how these shapes their thinking and behaviours. At the same time, they can appreciate and respect the values and beliefs of others. Practises empathy, humility, and courage.

Balanced (wholehearted) – understands that integration between mind, body and spirit is key, in themselves and in others. Are not prone to extremes and understands that to be effective and bring their best self forward, there is a need to take care of themselves first.

Trustworthy – The ability to create a safe space for their employees by allowing honesty, straightforwardness whilst withholding judgements. It also includes the ability to be able to deliver on promises and to walk their talk. Trust is created when leaders are transparent and are willing to share relevant information when needed. This includes the ability to admit when they do not have or know the answers.

Integrity – Making decisions based on an acute moral compass and a place of empathy. Displays moral excellence whilst maintaining humility, vulnerability, and authenticity. The ability to display behaviours that are congruent to their beliefs and values.

Capable: This is about having the competencies and character traits needed to get the job done and to be able to craft a vision, execute a plan towards that vision and to drive the results needed. This includes resiliency, tenacity, and agility.

Inspirational – When a leader is inspired and aligned in their own vision, inspiring other becomes easy. Inspired leaders are genuine and sees themselves as collaborators in a shared vision and a bigger purpose. They can communicate this vision in such a way that motivates others mentally and emotionally.

 

How Can You Develop Holistic Leadership?

A good starting point is to recognise the need or desire to be a leader who embodies these characteristics. For organisations, it starts with recognising that there is a need to adopt this leadership model in your organisation. Once this is in place, individual leadership coaching can be a highly effective way of gaining self-awareness and building holistic leadership practices. And organisationally, creating a leadership competency model that spells out the expectations and development opportunities for the 7 characteristics of holistic leadership is a good next step. But in the end, a leadership program will only be effective if the leader or the organisation is prepared to get down and dirty in effecting this change. This not only means a complete buy-in into the process but also being aware of the likely impact on the organisation from going through the process of change.

Rozana Halpin

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