Achieve sustainable business results through appreciative leadership

Achieve sustainable business results through appreciative leadership

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By Paul Nyausaru

APPRECIATIVE Leadership is a form of leadership that believes that working together is more important than authority. It believes that the success of any organization depends on combining the strengths of everyone who makes up the organization. By everyone this refers to even the lowest person on the organization hierarchy. This form of leadership inspires confidence, and it boosts people’s energy, enthusiasm resulting is exceptional performance. Does this resonate with what is obtaining in your organization?

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The core of this form of leadership is recognizing and acknowledging the potential that resides within the organization and to translate it into positive and productive strengths. Together, these ideals represent a shift in leadership. From a traditional and individualistic approach to leading, this approach leads to a new standard that helps the leader to achieve the desired results through the people that make up the organization. The foundation of the Appreciative Leadership can be traced back to the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) theory which we looked at in the previous article.

 Five Cores of Appreciative Leadership

Jansen, B. (2019), in the article Appreciative Leadership, talks of five cores of Appreciative Leadership, Which I will discuss in this article from the perspective of Organization Development

  • Being a part of something

Appreciative leadership acknowledges that for an organization to achieve its intended objectives it calls for the leader to rally everyone and make them believe they are part of the process. Just that acknowledgement of being part of a process makes every team member to put in their effort and owning the output. So it is important for a leader to possess skills that allow for that to happen

  • Feeling valued

How much do your subordinates feel valued? If subordinates do not feel valued, it is easy for the leader to end up walking along when he/she thinks the team is with him. Every member of the organizational team naturally needs to be valued first and foremost as an individual and as an employee.

We must not forget that every employee is a leader in different spheres of their lives outside the workplace. That valuable groundsman who takes care for the landscaping is a CEO of his family which he runs perfectly well ensuring the family is fed and children go to school up to University level. They definitely need to be valued.

  • Knowing what the organization is heading for

As a leader, do you invest in educating your team members on them understanding the vision, mission and core values of the organization? Surely if a leader is going to succeed in harnessing the collective abilities of team members focusing achieving the strategic goals, then it is prudent to have a conversation around these key issues to enable team members to live by these

Principles and own the vision, mission and core values.

  • Feeling they’re contributing to the greater good

An appreciative leader ensures that the reward schemes are put in place to recognize team members for contributing towards the cause of the organization. It is important to understand that recognition is not always monetary by acknowledgement of success by other means such as certificates and some letters of acknowledgement of success makes them feel they are contributing to the success of the organization. A great leader is an observant leader when it comes to the good that takes place and acknowledging.

  • Knowing that excellence is expected of them

An appreciative leader co-creates standards of what is expected with his/her team. Doing so creates ownership of the process and ensures everyone focuses their energies towards the intended goals. The hunger to achieve is created and success in achieving sustainable goals is guaranteed.

I would like to end with a quote from Patrick Trottier (1974) where he says “A true leader creates the stage for others to lead, co-create and self-organize of which is natural for humans. We are all leaders at some point in time.”

Paul Nyausaru is an OD Practitioner and leadership coach. For all your OD interventions and leadership development training you can get in touch with him on whatsapp/call +263774062756 or Email pnyausaru@amanda

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