Respect is a non-negotiable requisite in developing functional platforms
for communication and relationship building between individuals and
groups. Establishing a strong sense of
respect comes with understanding the interests of individuals and/or
groups—not necessarily focused so narrowly on the positions that people take. Trust can only be earned through respect.
While leadership is held up as a premium for overcoming challenges and
creating opportunities, many individuals/groups struggle with getting in the
right frame of mind for it. Leadership
is not necessarily about leading people who need to be lead—this whole notion
of the all knowing/able/charismatic leader is often referred to as the "cult of
personality” which in absence of shared responsibility, substance, and
integrity can and often do spell disaster.
Therefore the collaborative learning paradigm of leadership calls for
leaders to share power, listen, and work hard to study the strategies for
organizing the necessary information, resources, and efforts to achieving a
number of critical goals as a group effort.
One of the best ways to gain the respect, trust, and cooperation of an
individual/group is to acknowledge that the individuals including the leader
must be willing to set aside one’s ego
to be the best "student” of the process.
In order to succeed as individuals or as part of joint effort, power
must be shared. Power here is defined as
the ability to exercise privilege which derives its strength from influence, responsibility,
relationships, resources, and/or authority.
As easily as power is bestowed to individuals and/or groups, it can be
taken away. Lasting leadership requires the
practice or culture that shares power/privilege, one which empowers the "timid.” Individuals/organizations where power is not
shared are impeding its ability to maximize its own potential, threatening its
own chances to survive and thrive in an increasingly competitive environment.
In order to succeed as individuals as well as groups/organizations people
must have the ability to quickly, yet thoughtfully initiate a process where a
critical goal must be met for the good of the individual/organization/community. When such practices as Power Sharing, Mutual
Respect, and Learner-Leader are in place as part of the organizational/community
culture, it often makes it much easier for individuals to make a significant
contribution(s). While this principle
encourages individuals/groups to "step-up,” sometimes, exercising the ability
to "step back” allowing others to contribute is just as important. Therefore, one of the key mandates for all
leaders should be to build the capacity of the team members to be prepared to
take the initiative.
Success can only be realized through practice or culture that ensures quality and
timely outcomes. Such commitment first
and foremost must start with the individual.
Therefore, group/organizational success depends heavily on this concept
of accountability. Moreover, building
on the concept of Initiative Taking, an effective leader never assigns any
tasks that she/he is not willing to do her/himself. Accountability must be modeled through
meeting one’s own responsibilities not just over-seeing or insisting on
accountability of the group/organization.
Determination: The MAAP Program by design supports the
process of individuals seeking personal and professional success to not just
rely on the advice of the mentors or the mentoring network, rather, she/he should decide and act on their own
knowledge, analysis, and experience gained through a variety of sources. While prescribed processes including but not
limited to this mentoring platform may be helpful in providing potential to
develop the necessary strategies to successfully navigate the layers of issues
and challenges in one’s personal and professional path, ultimately, building on
the concept of accountability, one must be ultimately responsible for shaping
her/his own outcomes.