Welsh proverb: “He who would be a leader must be a bridge.”
What I call engagement leaders are indeed “bridges” connecting divergent types of people for the advantage of each and all. They know that deeply engaging internal and external stakeholders in the co-creation of business changes and new initiatives is vital for any strategic action plan to be properly executed.
Nelson Mandela was an archetypical engagement leader. After 27 brutal years in prison, he emerged as a fervent advocate of engaging with the very people and institutions that oppressed him. When released, he spent the next four years in negotiation with the stalwarts of apartheid. As President, he continued to ensure that all faces and voices were represented in government, business and other institutions.
We can learn much from Mandela, but it would be defeatist to think that one must be extraordinary like him to be a successful engagement leader. The motivation for and value of being an engagement leader in 21st century business should be one’s personal desire to engage with others in order to play a key role in making a positive difference when challenges or opportunities arise.
Strategic Relational Engagement (SRE)
A broad spectrum of stakeholders has a direct impact on every enterprise’s core business. In today’s increasingly interconnected world, organizations that foster a deep level of connection with their stakeholders are more successful in shaping that impact to their greatest advantage. Fostering meaningful relationships can transform stakeholder fear and/or animosity into understanding.Download Article 500 Club