Quality Inner Circle Makes Quality Leadership

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Quality Inner Circle Makes Quality Leadership

Even a Fuel Tanker needs to stop for fuel at some point! Leaders need to have a place where they can pit stop, rest, recuperate, learn and get some advice, without being judged, criticised or measured. The Support Group for the Leader could be a friends and supporters within the team itself, or they could be people the Leader values spread far and abroad in whom the Leader confides.

Nothing great is achieved independently. The Leader needs a team. A leader without a team is like a sailing ship standing dead in the water with no wind. As the team progresses to its objectives, the Leader will need a confidant or a group of supporters to form the “inner circle”.
The point of the inner circle is to create a place where the Leader can get: information, advice, support, guidance, help and if need be – warnings.  Actually, the role of the Leader’s inner circle has a two role purpose: Counsel and Feedback.

Counsel: All the adjectives listed in the above paragraph describe the “counsel” a Leader requires. Every leader requires a safe environment where they can talk through new ideas, vent frustrations, discuss approach options, weight the pro’s and con’s of a decision and possibly even receive correction from team members.
Loose Lips Sink Ships was a slogan started in WorldWar2 to remind people that private conversations in public areas have the potential to create disastrous events. Loose lips speaking from within an inner circle, blurting out about a leader’s weaknesses and private failures, spells disaster for any team or organisation.  So, be careful who you bring into that circle.

Feedback: With ears on the ground and influence into the far corners of the team, people within the inner circle can offer the Leader the greatest gift of all – Feedback: Impact of decisions, effectiveness of processes, team morale, creative ideas and more!
The most valuable tool any leader can have in the Team Development Toolbox is feedback. The quality of the feedback is crucial to making effective decisions and taking corrective measures.  The feedback needs to be honest, objective and complete.

The discussion so far has given some insight into the calibre and character of the type of person a Leader could have within the support group. Below is a list of pointers to consider when drawing people into your inner circle:

Value Adders: Skills and understanding are important within the support group, but Inner Circle members should be people that you enjoy, people that add value to your well being or to the team’s well being.
Complementary Strengths:  A Leader isn’t great at everything; they just draw great people around them. Draw people that complement your strengths and abilities. Fill up the gaps by bringing in people that can balance you.

Influencers: A Leader’s personal reach is extended by connecting with people of Influence.

Committed: People buy trust first and product second. People within your inner circle should be committed to your cause and the team’s objectives. More importantly they must people that believe in you even though they don’t have to always agree with you

Positive Promoters: Inner circle people are the main promoters of the leader’s decisions and instructions. The ideal person is someone that communicates those objectives in a positive manner.
Positive communication when talking about the leader to others is the difference between them advocating your weaknesses and failures or offering insights to your humanness and vulnerability.

The inner circle should be a haven for the Leader, with people the Leader can trust, respect and open up to in an honest an authentic manner. The quality of the inner circle has a direct impact on the quality of the Leader’s performance – so, take time and build a quality inner circle.

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