Today, let’s discuss the final piece in our series about building your leadership like an architect builds a home. The process includes three major steps: choose a location, select a style and now, creating the blueprint. There are some basic components almost every blueprint will have. Likewise, every leader must address some basic attributes:
Your front door is the main entrance to your home. This is the first attribute of your home guests see up close. What would that be for your leadership? Do you want guests to see a warm and inviting demeanor, like a softly colored wooden door? Or, perhaps you prefer a strong, harsh exterior, like and iron security gate.
Do you welcome guests who come to you through non-standard channels? For example, back door guests may be individuals who skip the formal hierarchy or approach you from roles outside your organization. If you welcome this approach, your back door may be simple. If not, you should plan for multiple locks and perhaps a hidden door.
The walls protect you from the elements. The thicker the wall, the greater the protection and the less outsiders can see in. At the same time, a solid, thick wall prevents you from seeing the outside world as well. How many windows should your building have? Do you plan to be more or less transparent and more or less vulnerable?
The taller your structure, the better the view. However, the more floors you have, the more sturdy your foundation should be. You also run the risk of creating an ivory tower and being too disconnected from the ground level. How hierarchical do you intend your leadership to be?
Medieval fortresses required visitors to walk down halls lined with arrow slits. More contemporary homes have very open, free-flowing floor plans. How easily should people flow from one room (function) to the next? Do you want people on your team exposed to information from all parts of the organization (open) or more focused on their area of expertise (many walls and rooms)?
There you have it. You can now architect your leadership like an architect builds a home. Of course, it’s not that simple. The reality is some of you will discover your leadership as you evolve (as one reader, Harvey Austin pointed out – thanks Harvey). However, this framework can help you consider the attributes of your leadership and help you recognize pieces that are not built to your liking. Consider it a model for reflection.
To recap, architect your leadership by:
1. Selecting a Location: urban, suburban, rural mountains or resort beach?
2. Choosing a Style: rustic cabin, traditional house, apartment or exotic?
3. Creating a Blueprint: front door, back door, walls, floors and floor plan.
Question: How would you architect your leadership?