A ‘leadership license’: would you qualify?

June 23, 2020
By Rowan Belchers

At Lockstep, we hosted a ‘What is our Moonshot?” process last week, generating leadership ideas for the future.

One of the concepts we came up with was a Leadership License; a certification of sorts that all leaders (politicians, teachers, civil servants, policemen etc.) have to acquire before they are permitted to lead other people.

It forced me to ask myself whether I would qualify for such a license, and what aspects of my leadership contribution to the world might not make the grade. This is an important question to ask as it brings gravity to the choice of leading.

Fundamentally, leadership is about taking partial responsibility for the good of others, a fact that gets lost in the ‘noise’ that often accompanies executive leadership: status, compensation, power, profile.

It’s a question that also promotes humility and deep responsibility in that it asks you to look at the hidden parts of yourself and your offering, making sure they are not lurking in the shadows and running riot in the world that you influence.

So, were you to be in a position to rubber-stamp yourself as being leadership-ready, would you certify yourself?

My answer was “Yes, but be back in 5 years to recertify. And work on a few things while you’re at it.”

I’d really like to know your unedited answers as a way to make this question feel real.

Rowan Belchers

Rowan Belchers

Rowan Belchers is the founder and CEO of Lockstep, a business leadership consultancy. Lockstep works with CEO’s, executive teams and future leaders across the African continent, partnering with clients who seek customised leadership solutions. Rowan is a highly respected advisor to CEOs with over two decades’ experience in guiding businesses and their leaders towards reaching their fullest potential. Rowan leads The CEO Project, a Lockstep initiative.
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