Author: Alan Hosking

Are you going “through something” or “to something”?

It is a fact of life that, regardless of our position in life, whether we’re smart or not, rich or poor, we all face challenges. How we deal with them and what we learn from them determines what we become.

Challenges come in various forms. Some have to deal with health issues in themselves or in family members. Others face emotional issues such as depression or a lack of self-esteem. Still others face relationship challenges such as rejection, a lack of love, betrayal, abandonment, conflict or abuse.

Many believe money solves all problems in life and that, if they just had money, 90% of their problems would be a thing of the past. That is just a myth. While money certainly helps to make life more comfortable and convenient, it does not provide protection against life’s challenges.
So, if money isn’t the answer to all of our problems, what is?

The answer lies in the grammar you use – which preposition you live your life by.

If you live in terms of a “through”, you will always be struggling with some sort of challenge. People who live based on what they’re going through see their problems as an end in themselves rather than as part of a process.

When you only think in terms of going through things, you have no fixed idea of what you’re moving towards; you never have any intention of finding a solution to your challenge so that you can move on to a goal you have set yourself – something you’re moving to.

Don’t for one moment think that I am seeing challenges as a negative. On the contrary. We learn some of our most profound lessons in the midst of the biggest challenges we face.

During my primary and high school careers, as a skinny youngster at a small town boys-only school, I was bullied quite badly by bigger boys looking to compensate for their own sense of disempowerment. Towards the end of my high school career, however, I learnt how to handle those bullies, not meeting them with brute force but out-thinking them.

Believe it or not, today, I am extremely grateful that I was bullied – the skills I learnt from handling those school yard bullies literally saved my life many decades later when, arriving home late one night, I was confronted by three armed men in my garage.

Recognising that armed men are simply bullies in another form, I quickly called on those almost forgotten skills I learned courtesy of my high school bullies and switched into “handle bully” mode. Using these and other techniques I had learned along life’s journey, I got myself and my family through the experience unscathed.

I do not make light of other people’s experience at the hands of bullies, nor of my own experience with the armed robbers – I hope I never have to face a situation like that ever again – but my point is that sometimes, when we go through something, it’s so that we can go to something.

At a simplistic level, because I had endured bullying, I was able to go to the rest of my as-yet-unlived life. The way I see it, I got a second chance at life and am eternally grateful for this. My life could have ended that evening and I would not have gone “to” anything ever again.

If you’re going through a tough time now, don’t allow yourself to get stuck in it. Keep your chin up and do your best to deal with the challenge and, above all, learn as much as you can from what you’re going through because you never know what it will help you go to.

Alan Hosking is the publisher of HR Future magazine, www.hrfuture.net, @HRFuturemag. He assists executives to develop new generation leadership skills, manage their age as an asset, and achieve self-mastery so that they can lead with greatness and agility in an increasingly disruptive world.

What’s your price?

With more and more truth about the corruption and state capture that’s been going on behind the scenes in government, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and business starting to come out, it’s becoming clear that a lot of people in high places have a price on their heads – a price at which they can be easily bought.

Want to buy an SOE executive, a politician, even maybe a President? Seems like you can … if you have the money! There are plenty of them for sale to the highest bidder. Of course, politicians haven’t wanted the general (voting) public to know about this because it wouldn’t suit their agendas – they prefer to be known (in their own eyes) as upstanding, honest, committed, ethical civil servants or good custodians of the significant resources they control.

Well, if truth be told, they have a price on their heads in more ways than one. When you have a price on your head, for which you can be bought to do whatever the person paying you wants, expects or demands you to do, it’s only a matter of time before the price on your head becomes a liability, like those who were “wanted dead or alive” in the Wild West who were known to have a price on their heads. The price on your head then means that others will go after you either to take from you what you have acquired or to ensure that justice will prevail. That will signal the end of your political or business career.

Imagine the stress people with a price on their heads are living with. Here’s the thing … all humans are actually honest beings. No, wait, let me finish …

While all humans are honest beings, many choose to engage in dishonest activities for selfish reasons. They therefore suppress their honesty in the interests of achieving their selfish goals. In order to achieve more money, land, possessions, status, power or anything else they deem desirable, they will choose to be dishonest to get what they want.

What they don’t realise is the price they will in turn pay for their dishonesty. That price is the dissonance that occurs in their beings when their dishonest activities conflict with their honesty, which they have suppressed for selfish interests. Have you ever wondered why people, caught red-handed committing a criminal act blatantly deny that they did what it was they were accused of? That’s because they can’t admit to themselves that they are dishonest. How do you expect them to admit to a total stranger or to the world in general that they are dishonest?

But it’s not only the people in high places who have a price on their heads. There are people living amongst you and me who have sold their honesty. You may, like me, have been the victim of some form of dishonesty, when someone tried to cheat, defraud or rob you of something that was legitimately yours. For example, the last three people who defrauded/cheated me in some way are all regularly standing on platforms in their local communities (I kid you not), thinking that they are very good and honest people. But they had a price on their heads for which they sold their honesty. Sadly, while they think they have done nothing wrong, they will experience the inescapable consequences of the universal law of cause and effect.

I mention this example to challenge your thinking, to get you to ask yourself if you have a price on your head, a price for which you will sell, or have sold, your honesty.

Before you answer indignantly that you have no price, think carefully about your answer. Do you know what our biggest challenge is with regard to our price? We can’t see our own price. We can see what our price is not, but the actual price for which we’re prepared to sell our honesty is actually invisible to us. And that’s why those who have sold themselves can’t see what they’ve done. They think they’re still honest people.

While you and I have no control over the honesty of other people, we can ensure that we never sell our honesty at any price. There’s only one way to do this: operate on the basis that honesty is not the best policy. It’s the ONLY policy. When honesty is your best policy, you tend to start using some of those “not so honest” policies.

Live without a price on your head and be proud of doing so. You will serve as a role model for those you lead and work with.

Alan Hosking is the publisher of HR Future magazine, www.hrfuture.net, @HRFuturemag, and assists executives to prevent, reverse and delay ageing, and achieve self-mastery.

Four things you can do to make this your best year ever

Did you know that, deep down, every human being, no matter who they are or what they do in life, wants to be, do and have more or better? It’s this desire in us that has helped us get to where we currently are as a species. If you want to make this THE year for yourself, here are a few suggestions to be, do and have more or better this year.

  1. Live each day as a separate life

Each day has a natural life cycle that mimics life itself – it starts in the morning when we wake up, progresses through the morning (youth), noon and afternoon (prime of life), evening (maturity) and ends at night when we lay our heads down to go to sleep (death). The beauty is that, unlike real life, we get to live another “life” (day) when we wake up the next morning. When you start to live each day as a separate life, you maximise your time, opportunities and the pleasure that comes from living many lives.

  1. Carry no baggage

If you were treated badly, hurt or hard done by last year, you have a decision to make. You can allow the wounds to fester this year or you can take action to allow them to heal. Maybe you’re hoping for an apology from someone who hurt you. In that case, you’ve handed your personal power to them and have accepted that you will only get to carry on with your life when they apologise. That’s not fair to yourself. Sometimes people will never apologise because they don’t think they’ve done anything wrong or because they’re simply not sensitive enough to realise what they’ve done.

I have never met anyone carrying baggage who is happy. You deserve more from life than putting your happiness in the hands of someone else. As difficult as it might seem, put last year’s hurts behind you, look forward, hold your head up high and embrace everything that’s good and positive this year, and you will set yourself free.

  1. Become a source of love

I’m not suggesting anything creepy here! I’m speaking about love that’s from the waist up – a love for other people that inspires you to want to make the world a better, more equal place for everyone. When you see yourself as a destination for love, you think in terms of what you lack and need. When you see yourself as a source of love (which you are), you start to share your love with others and … you get a whole lot of love back. The more you give, the more you get. You can show love in the simplest ways – kind, encouraging words, small gestures, taking an interest in someone, assisting in some or other way, providing a listening ear, the list is endless. As you start giving love, you become loved by those you love. It sounds so counter intuitive, but it works!

  1. Accept people exactly as they are

You want people to accept you just as you are and not judge or criticise you when you are not “like them”. Do the same for them. When you accept people as they are, you reduce the stress in your life which is created by a desire for people to conform to our view of what we think is right or true. People are all different. Some are honest, some dishonest, some nice, some not nice. It’s not your responsibility to change them into what you think they should be. It’s also not your responsibility to hang out with people who don’t encourage or build you up, so choose your friends wisely.

Happiness is not something we find “out there”. It’s found inside ourselves. When you find your own happiness inside of you, you share happiness with others and, in so doing, will create a happy year for yourself!

 #MakeThisTheYear

How much time have you got?

What should our attitude to time be in a world that is becoming ever more time-sensitive?

Let’s consider three myths about time …

Firstly, let’s acknowledge a truth about time – whether we are the most powerful or wealthiest person in the world, or a homeless, unemployed person with no material possessions, we get the same number of seconds, minutes and hours in our day as everybody else – no more, no less.

It’s, however, what we DO with the time we’re given that determines what we become, what we create and what we achieve. What do you do with your time? Are you using your time creatively – to create a better reality for yourself and your loved ones, or are you allowing it to slip through your fingers?

The first myth about time is that it can be managed. Managing time implies that we have some sort of control over it. We don’t. The clock ticks on regardless of what we think, say or do. We only have control over the choices we make as to what to do with our time.

The old truth applies: manage what you can control and not what you can’t control. Focus therefore on the choices you make in the time you are given rather than on time itself. As you improve the choices you make with the time you have at your disposal, you are able to prioritise better and get done important things that need to be done first.

The second myth about time is that we can save time. Saving time means storing it up for use at a later stage. Everyone knows it’s just plain silly to think like that. So don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can actually save any time. Once it has passed, it’s gone for ever.

You might think you can do things quicker and more efficiently and that will save time, but that’s simply using your time more effectively so you can get more done in the time you’ve been given. You haven’t “saved” any time for a later stage.

Recognise that the only place we can genuinely live is in the present.

No-one can live in the past. While you may choose to focus on events and memories from the past, you are still confined to living in the present. By focusing on past events, however, you are simply robbing yourself of the opportunities that the present offers you. By focusing on the future, you also rob yourself of the power you have in the present.

When the present moment has passed, you are left with regret because you never used the time appropriately.

The third myth is that time is money. Time is not money – it is life itself. When your money runs out, there will probably be opportunities to get more money. When your time finally runs out, your life’s over and you can never buy, borrow or get more time. That’s it.

So, treat your time like the precious commodity it is. Use it wisely. Make good choices as to what you do with your professional and personal time and, when you finally run out of time, you will have very few, if any, regrets!

Alan Hosking is the publisher of HR Future magazine, www.hrfuture.net, @HRFuturemag. He assists executives to develop new generation leadership skills, manage their age as an asset, and achieve self-mastery so that they can lead with greatness and agility in an increasingly disruptive world.

Where are you living?

When it comes to finding a home at the right address, estate agents emphasise the importance of, “Location, location, location.”

No-one disputes the advantages of living in the right city, the right suburb, even the right street – this will result in a better return when you sell the house. But if you think your physical address is important, consider the importance of your mental address.

A good physical address is worthwhile, but it’s not going to help you achieve anything in life. There’s another address you need to make sure is a good address – this one will either help you achieve more with your life, or will be a stumbling block to any dreams and ambitions you may have. This address will in all probability determine your physical address of a few years’ time.

Where you live mentally will determine your physical address in the future.

Where are you staying in your mind? Is your mental address in a run-down neighbourhood, littered with junk and in a state of general decay? Or is it in a really great place – well maintained, pleasant, attractive, and a really good place to be?

No-one else but you determines your mental address. You might blame your boss, your partner, your family circumstances, your background and a host of other people and things for your physical address, but you can blame nobody for where you’re staying mentally. That’s an address only you choose.

Your mental address is determined by your attitude to life and to the circumstances you face. Life comprises a blend of pain and pleasure. Those who expect only pleasure out of life set themselves up for frustration, disappointment and possibly depression. No-one, no matter who they are, can avoid having to deal with pain of some sort in their lives.

So don’t be angry when you encounter pain, physical or emotional. Realise that it’s an opportunity to grow yourself into somebody bigger than who you currently are.

While this may sound like cold comfort, I can assure you, based on hindsight, that I can now see the benefits of times when I experienced pain. I am now consciously thankful for what I went through because of what I learnt as a result.

Whether it is personal pain in the form of relationships, health, finance, personal emotions or professional pain in the workplace, don’t try to ignore or avoid it. Face it head on, do what is necessary to overcome the circumstances. Allowing things to get out of hand and by living in denial gives the pain opportunity to increase its power over you.

When you turn and face the pain, you start a process that helps you clean up your mental neighbourhood. Tidying up your mind is the first step to tidying up your life.

So start looking to change your address so you can live at a much better mental address. And, in the process of moving house, do a spring clean also. Clean out the junk at your current mental address and start preparing right now for a better future for yourself, your career and your company.

Alan Hosking is the publisher of HR Future magazine, www.hrfuture.net, @HRFuturemag, and a professional speaker. He assists executives to prevent, reverse and delay ageing, and achieve self-mastery so that they can live and lead with greatness.

In which reality do you live?

If you think that everyone lives in the same reality, think again. There are multiple realities in the world.

There is the reality that exists in every individual’s mind, based on their own circumstances and perspective.

We all live in our own realities – realities we have created for ourselves and which align with what we think we know to be true and right. That’s why politicians, business leaders and community leaders fail to hear what their people are telling them. They have unconsciously chosen to live in a reality of their own creation and which has no bearing on, or connection with, the reality in which the masses are living.

To address challenges and effect significant and lasting change for the better, our country’s leaders, our community leaders and our corporate leaders are therefore going to have to face not the reality in which they’re living, but the reality in which others are living, no matter how unpalatable it is. Only then will real and lasting change for the better start to take place.

To be an effective leader, start asking yourself which reality you’re living in. Examine your views of the world and compare them with the views of others. Try not to see yours as “right” and the views of others as “wrong”. This simplistic view of life has caused untold misery for thousands of years as tribes and nations have sought to impose their lifestyle, religion or culture on others because they believed theirs were “right”. They may have been sincere in what they were trying to achieve, but were sincerely wrong.

People who have a deep and strong need to change other people to make them like themselves operate from a very deep and strong fear, regardless of what they think or say is the motive for what they are doing.

The reason I make a big fuss over different realities, is that one of the most fundamental functions of leadership is to take people to a better reality. As simple as that. So, if you’re in a leadership position, ask yourself what the current reality is and get very clear in your mind what the “better reality” you want to take people to looks like. That’s simply called vision.

A leader with vision will explain and share his vision of a better reality with those s/he is leading. Without a clear vision of a better reality, no movement will take place and the country, community or company will stay exactly where it is.

Ask yourself what vision of a better reality politicians and other leaders have shared. You can’t answer that? No surprise there – that’s because, at the moment, no leader has or has shared, a vision of a better reality. And why is that? Because they don’t have one. That’s why. It’s simple. If they had a vision of a better reality, they would be sharing it.

Sharing a vision does not involve criticising other political parties’ or people’s views and/or actions. It involves telling people of a better reality so that they start to see it as well. It stands to reason, if you don’t have a vision of a better reality, you will not be able to lead people anywhere, because you don’t have a better reality to move towards.

If you look at the current situation in South Africa, you will understand why no-one is leading anybody anywhere. No vision. No better reality.

What better reality should we be creating? It should be a reality in which those who have the power, the means, the intellectual and other resources and the compassion use what they can to create a reality which provides opportunity for our children to grow up in a safe and supportive society, for their parents to have employment so they can support their children financially, and for our economy to thrive so we can improve facilities, infrastructure and services for the benefit of all.

Isn’t that a better reality worth working towards?

Alan Hosking is the publisher of HR Future magazine, www.hrfuture.net, @HRFuturemag, and a professional speaker. He assists executives to prevent, reverse and delay ageing, and achieve self-mastery so that they can live and lead with greatness.

Are you a human doing or a human being

We have become so conditioned, so used to the thinking in a way that says, “Do this and you will be able to …”. This gives us the impression that it is by doing something that we will achieve something. Multimillion dollar training empires have been built on this philosophy.

Such companies have made millions, probably billions, telling people what they should do. In the case of skills training, one cannot fault this argument, as skills are something you have to be taught to do.

But doing is only half of what’s needed to be a leader of significance and authority, someone who enjoys respect and influence by who and what they are and not only what they do.

Leaders who are still stuck in Newtonian thinking battle with this. That’s probably 90% of the world’s leaders in government, business and other organisations. Newtonian thinking has dominated our collective consciousness for the past 300 years so it is no wonder that most leaders think this way.

Newtonian thinking is based on a mechanical model which treats everything as machines which follow a step by step linear way of doing things. A “how to” manual is an excellent example of Newtonian thinking because it says that by following certain steps, you will be able to do something.

While this has been valid until now to explain most things, humanity has evolved to the point where Newtonian, mechanical, thinking is no longer enough.

Doing (mechanics) is no longer enough to make a successful leader. Today, we are starting to understand that it’s not only what we do but what we are (our being) that influences and creates the reality we experience.

In the past, leaders could be whatever they wished to be – often not very nice people – so long as what they did was the right thing. It’s now no longer good enough for leaders to be competent at what they do. They have to be something worthy of leadership as well.

Of course, its’ from our being that our doing, or actions, flow. Learning what a leader should do may help you get the job if you’re being hired by people who have not progressed past Newtonian thinking, but it will not help you for long. Very soon, the people you are leading will see what you are and will respond to that.

Look at politicians who think they’re doing the right things at the moment (in their eyes). You have not for one moment been fooled by what they do because you have looked instead at what they are. We say that actions speak louder than words, but what we are speaks louder than our actions.

If, therefore, you wish to become a leader of authority and influence, don’t focus only on the “how to” steps of leadership. Start also focusing on the “beingness” of leadership. Ask yourself what you need to be as a good leader then develop; those qualities, those states of being, in yourself.

Instead of worrying about doing, prioritise being because it’s from what we are that our actions flow. More simply put, it’s what’s inside that comes out. If you kick over a jar of honey, honey will flow out. If you kick over a jar of acid, acid will flow out. It’s what’s inside that comes out.

What’s inside you? Fear, hostility, greed? That’s what will come out and determine your actions as a leader. If it’s love, kindness and generosity, that’s what will come out and determine your actions for all the world to see.

I urge you to start focusing on improving what you are (your being) and you will find that your actions will follow!

Alan Hosking is the publisher of HR Future magazine, www.hrfuture.net, @HRFuturemag, and a professional speaker. He assists executives to prevent, reverse and delay ageing, and achieve self-mastery so that they can live and lead with greatness.

Which way are you looking and learning?

Most people aren’t really conscious of the fact that they’re looking in one of two directions – behind, at the past, or ahead at the future.

People who tend to look backwards are going to find things getting increasingly difficult for them because, believe it or not, the past is becoming more and more irrelevant.

We therefore need to spend less time on the things of the past and more time on things to come, because those are the things that are going to shape how we live and work in the next decade.

Think about it … There is a big difference in size between the rear-view mirror and the front windscreen of your motor car. The rear view mirror is small and the windscreen is large. Why? Because you need to be able to have a very clear view of what lies ahead when you’re driving and, while what’s behind you is not entirely irrelevant, it’s not really as important as what’s ahead of you.

So, you do indeed need a rear view mirror but only for the odd reference check to see what’s happening behind you. Taking your eyes off what you see through your windscreen for any length of time is, as you will know, a very high risk activity.

If you spend more time looking in your rear-view mirror, you will not be prepared for any situation that occurs while you’re driving. In the same way, if you spend more time focusing on the past, you will not be prepared for what’s coming your way. When you get into difficulties because of your not anticipating something happening, you will have very little, if any, time to respond in a constructive way.

For one, if you haven’t dedicated just about all your attention to what you see through your windscreen, you will soon leave the road or collide with another vehicle, person or object you simply did not see.

By keeping your eyes on what you see through your windscreen, you can stay on the road, steer around things, brake when needed to avoid something or someone, and generally drive in a responsible and safe manner to arrive at your destination.

Few apply these skills to how they manage things in their personal and professional lives. The world of work is becoming increasingly unpredictable and we are being warned to expect increasing disruption. We are also being warned that artificial intelligence machines will do the work that many white collar workers are doing. That might seem like a rather tall order right now, but a London-based law firm has already “appointed” a machine to handle certain legal matters on their behalf. And they’re not an exception to the rule …

Of course, the significance of all this lies in what we are learning and how we learn. For the past 10 000 years or more, we have learned according to what Otto Scharmer calls Type 1 Learning – learning from the past. Now that might seem quite puzzling to you as you may ask, “But how else can one learn?”

Sure, learning has traditionally been based on existing knowledge which has been acquired from what happened in the past. All learning that takes place at primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, except for research work and post graduate studies, is undertaken according to Type 1 Learning.

While that has served us very well until now, it’s no longer enough. We now have to engage in Type 2 Learning – what Scharmer refers to as learning from the future as it emerges. That’s because the knowledge and experience of leaders and their teams is increasingly not relevant to the challenge they have to face and address. How do you solve a problem that you’ve never encountered before, using information that simply does not apply to the problem?

If you’re tempted to dismiss this train of thought because you’re not in learning and development, don’t. Newsflash … Learning and development is the business of everybody now.

Start adjusting your learning so you learn from the future as it emerges and not simply from the past. By doing that, you will be better prepared for what’s to come in the future of work.

Alan Hosking is the publisher of HR Future magazine, www.hrfuture.net, @HRFuturemag, and a professional speaker. He assists executives to prevent, reverse and delay ageing, and achieve self-mastery so that they can live and lead with greatness.

Are you a contribution or a competition?

Most of us accept that the game of life is a competition, played by a certain set of rules not necessarily observed by everyone. We accept that, by competing against others, we improve ourselves. Competition, we believe, is the natural way of the universe – the survival of the fittest idea surely means that if you’re not good enough, you’re going to get beaten to the finish by someone faster, smarter or fitter than you are.

We accept that business is about competition. We compete with other suppliers of similar products or services to ours to ensure that we sell more than they do so that we can be bigger, better, more successful.

Benjamin Zander, Conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, in his book, The Art of Possibility, suggests that there is another way to view our participation in the game of life.

He says that when we treat it as a competition, we are confronted with success or failure like two sides of one coin. Our defining purpose is then motivated by a drive to be successful and a fear of failure, both of which are a major cause of anxiety, stress and tension.

Zander suggests that we invent another game to play which doesn’t have someone winning and someone losing. He calls it: “I am a contribution”. In this game, we see ourselves in terms of possibility and look at life in terms of what we can contribute rather than compete with others.

When we do this, Zander points out, we discover we have more than enough energy to give of ourselves to the world; it’s like plugging into an electricity socket which continues to deliver power while we are plugged in.

How do you view your life? Do you see yourself as needing to compete with others for what you believe is an ever decreasing piece of the pie, or do you consider yourself to be a unique contribution to the world?

When we start to live as a contribution, we start to think in terms of what we’ve got to give rather than in terms of what we want to get.

If you ask most people if they see themselves as givers or grabbers, 99% answer that they see themselves as givers. That may be what they say but in terms of what they do – how they act – nothing is further from the truth. Do a test on yourself. As honestly as possible, assess your actions throughout the day in terms of giving or grabbing.

If you find that it’s been more about you getting than giving, your question is answered. You are more of a competition than a contribution. In a competition, someone has to win and someone has to lose. That means, if I have something, you don’t have it, and vice versa.

When you live as a contribution, you’re happy to give to others of your time, love, expertise, skill, money or whatever you wish to contribute. Remember, though, you only need to give of what you have, not of something you don’t have.

When more people start to be a contribution rather than a competition, the potential to change the world for the better increases exponentially.

Alan Hosking is the publisher of HR Future magazine, www.hrfuture.net, @HRFuturemag, and a professional speaker. He assists executives to prevent, reverse and delay ageing, and achieve self-mastery so that they can live and lead with greatness.

What could we expect our leaders to do?

Whether in the world of work, politics or sport, the term “leadership” has become a status symbol. Everybody wants to be known as a leader, regardless of whether they have the qualities and skills to be a leader, or whether they are in a leadership position or not.

These misplaced expectations have resulted in people ending up in leadership positions who have not the faintest idea of what leaders are supposed to do. Once they are placed in a leadership position, therefore, their energies and efforts are directed at keeping the position – at all costs.

Leadership then becomes synonymous with “power” and no-one wants to lose power once they’ve acquired it. We should then be referring to such people as people in positions of power and not in positions of leadership.

To hang onto their power, they will try to please whoever it is they think will help keep them in power. They will spend days, weeks and months plotting against those they perceive to be threats to their power. They will avoid making any decisions that are not central to their efforts to retain power.

And while all of this is happening, mostly behind the scenes, the people, companies, divisions or departments they should be leading wait for direction and guidance to be provided, to no avail. Leaders who are only in it for the power will never be able to overcome their desire and drive to serve themselves first.

With so many leaders not doing what they should be doing, we’ve almost forgotten what good leaders are expected to do, so here are three reminders of what good leaders do …

Leaders inspire
One of the first things we could expect a good leader to do is inspire others with a compelling vision of a better future, whether it be for a country, a community or a company. After all, if a leader can’t lead us somewhere better than where we are right now, what’s the point of having them?

Not only should leaders be able to articulate a vision of a better future, but they should also be able to inspire people to embrace a worthy cause. A cause is what energises people to take action to help achieve that better future. Don’t underestimate the power of a cause. Without a cause, you get only reluctant effort, but people will die for a cause they believe in.

As a leader, do you inspire people with a vision of the future and with a cause?

Leaders collaborate
A true leader gets things done through other people. That’s the nature of leadership. It’s not about the proverbial one-man-band. A leader who is unable to collaborate will struggle to achieve anything of significance. Good leaders can collaborate across disciplines, cultures, generations and agendas in order to get things done.

Their collaboration will result in a common purpose, a united effort and a shared result. It will involve not only talking but listening, reflecting and responding appropriately. Collaboration is about involving and including people in the master plan, about inclusivity rather than exclusivity.

As a leader, do you make use of collaboration?

Leaders innovate
Believe it or not, one of the key things leaders are required to do is innovate. Innovating refers to introducing something new or doing something in a new way. One of the ways leaders take people to a better reality, is through introducing something new or doing things in new ways to achieve different results.

That doesn’t mean that leaders have to come up with all the new ideas themselves. It does however mean that they give those who can come up with new ideas the freedom and support to do so.

As a leader do you innovate?

There are many other things we could expect from leaders but if they just managed to get these three things right, imagine what the world would look like …

Alan Hosking is the publisher of HR Future magazine, www.hrfuture.net, @HRFuturemag, and a professional speaker. He assists executives to prevent, reverse and delay ageing, and achieve self-mastery so that they can live and lead with greatness.