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    Modern Leadership Demystified: Your 17-Factor Blueprint for Success

    Learn about how mastering vulnerability, well-being, and creating space to think are essential for modern leadership.

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      Vaughan Broderick

      Vaughan Broderick

      Hi friends, 👋

      Imagine this…

      You’re an aspiring executive leader.

      You’ve mastered the technical domains.

      You are in line for a promotion into the inner circle.

      You have been dreaming of this since you climbed the corporate ladder’s first rung.

      Then, panic sets in. 🫨

      You realise there is a massive gap between the reality of modern leadership and the vision often portrayed (You know, the one. A fearless leader, charging ahead, winning at every turn.)

      Don’t worry; I’ve got you.

      I spent 147 hours interviewing and researching high-performing executive leaders across several sectors, distilling the insights into a 17-factor blueprint for success.

      It’s called Thriving Leader 2.0.

      Today, we’ll unpack the following:

      • The 3 pillars of a thriving leader
      • The 17 factors of executive leadership success
      • The 3 most challenging (yet critical) factors and how to master them

      Let’s dive in!

      Before we do. I’m introducing a new feature this week – refer a friend and win. Check out the details at the end of this newsletter.

      The 3 Pillars of a Thriving Leader

      A thriving leader needs to unlock capability within three fundamental pillars, enabling self, enabling others and enabling the environment.

      Pillar 1: Enabling Self

      Enabling self refers to the need for leaders to attune themselves to the personal requirements to lead in a fast-paced and complex world.

      The research uncovered that leadership is about helping others be their best selves. Doing so requires a leader to be their best self.

      Enabling self necessitates an adventurous, future-thinking orientation and an orientation of being present and connected.

      Pillar 2: Enabling Others

      Enabling others is about lifting others.

      To lift others, there is a capability flow from nurturing the individual to connecting with others.

      A powerful outcome of enabling this ‘flow’ is amplifying the collective ‘human system’ to be greater than the sum of its individuals.

      Pillar 3: Enabling the Environment

      Enabling the environment speaks to a leaders’ ability to understand and shape the context to benefit the teams’ and the leaders’ effectiveness.

      The 17 Factors of Executive Leadership Success

      Within the three pillars, we found seventeen factors that emerged as essential for aspiring (and existing) leaders to be successful in the long term.

      Within the Enabling Self pillar, there were eight factors which emerged:

      • Be open and develop a growth mindset
      • Be authentic
      • Stay curious
      • Take small steps
      • Take care of your wellbeing
      • Lead with humility
      • Be empathetic
      • Be vulnerable

      The factors that emerged from the Enabling Others pillar were:

      • Create space for others
      • Helping others to develop and navigate
      • Building and connecting with others

      Emerging from Enabling the Environment pillar were:

      • Understand the operating environment
      • Enable and leverage capability
      • Create space to think

      At the intersections emerged the factors, surround yourself with great people, get comfortable with ambiguity and focus on fundamentals.

                                                                                            Thriving Leader 2.0

      The 3 Most Challenging Factors (and how to master them)

      Of all the seventeen factors, we found three to be the most challenging (yet vital) for leaders to master in today’s complex and fast changing world. They are:

      1) Vulnerability

      Vulnerability is often seen as a weakness, but it’s a strength that fosters trust and connection. Executive leaders who embrace vulnerability create a more open and authentic work environment, encouraging team members to share ideas and concerns openly.

      Action steps:

      • Lead by example: Share personal stories or challenges to demonstrate vulnerability and create a safe space for others to do the same.
      • Encourage open dialogue: Foster an atmosphere where team members feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, even if they differ from the leader’s perspective.
      • Acknowledge mistakes: Admitting errors and discussing how to overcome them reinforces that learning and growing from failures is okay.

      MUST READ: My 3 biggest startup and innovation mistakes

      2) Taking care of your wellbeing

      Leaders often neglect their wellbeing while focusing on their teams and organisations. However, self-care is crucial for sustained high performance and effective leadership.

      Action steps:

      • Prioritise health: Commit to regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and sufficient sleep to maintain physical wellbeing.
      • Practice mindfulness: Incorporate meditation, deep breathing, or mindfulness exercises to manage stress and enhance mental clarity.
      • Set boundaries: Define work-life boundaries to prevent burnout and ensure quality time for personal pursuits and relaxation.

      I recommend Healthy Minds app (it’s free) for getting your mindfulness and meditation practice going.

      3) Create space to think

      Amidst busy schedules and constant demands, carving out time for thoughtful reflection is essential. Leaders prioritising creating space to think can make more informed decisions and develop innovative strategies.

      • Schedule regular reflection: Set aside weekly dedicated time for uninterrupted thinking and strategising.
      • Limit distractions: During thinking sessions, disconnect from digital devices and create a quiet, focused environment.
      • Encourage “white space”: Advocate for downtime in your team’s schedule to allow for creativity and brainstorming.

      Here’s 8 more tactics to create ‘think space’ and avoid burnout.

      ⚡️ The Short of It

      Executive leadership is facing constant and complex demands.

      There are 3 pillars across enabling self, enabling others and enabling the environment that contain 17 factors for success.

      The 3 most pressing factors are enabling vulnerability, wellbeing and ‘think space’.

      🎁 Vaughan’s Recommendations:

      • 🧠 Want to learn about workshops? Nathy Ravez has a fun and useful podcast about everything facilitaction. One of my favourites.
      • 🚀 Customer Camp helps makes sense of marketing. You’ll love Katelyn’s newsletter.
      • 🤯 My favourite book I’m re-reading right now. Roger Martin’s – A New Way to Think. A whole set of new thinking models!

      That’s all for today friends! 👋

      Did you enjoy this week’s newsletter?

      If you learned something useful, would you share the newsletter with a friend?

      And if you have an idea for a future issue, send ’em my way.

      Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you next week.

      Keep future-state thinking,