…… create a quiet moment, stare by focusing continuously, consistently concentrating on just one thing
Good Leaders reflect. Reflection is a leader’s fad. Leaders don’t reflect because they are in a good mood or in a bad mood. Leaders reflect because they must. Collin Powell proposed the A-O-R model in Hughes et al (2015), to conclude that a leader’s answer is in reflections.
The A-O-R is expressed as the Action- Observation- Reflection model. Here, the simple instruction is that a leader must act. In effect, a leader must be seen doing something. Not just something though. But must be seen doing something to achieve an aim. A leader got to act (Sinek 2013). This goes to support the 21st century assertion that a leader must do. The days of gracing the chair is long gone.
If leadership is responsibility, a leader must be responsible for something. A leader must be responsible for his or her actions and inactions, and followers have every right any day to demand this. The next item within the model is Observation. A leader observes. This is one skill true leaders develop, subconsciously, along the leadership development journey. Good observers are good monitors.
Observation is a process of monitoring something or even someone, closely. Good leaders are very observant. They piece actions together to fix situations. They arrive at answers by deriving solutions through observation. Good leaders have impeccable observation skills. Observation as a skill can be learned.
There are few leadership skills that can be learned than being taught. Observation is one. Start by learning how to focus. Ahenkorah (2021), hinted in one of his chapters ‘Look until you see’ that 21st century leaders would have to look until they see, just in simple terms. That’s what sets a good leader apart from a lake leader.
Learning to observe involves focus staring into a situation to find the right solutions that best fit the three key elements within the leadership interactional framework. Leaders who have built their observation skills with a mastery can look through the wall and will see if not feel the structural elements within that wall.
In some instance, they could see if not feel the beam layout, the cast iron pattern, the iron rod weaves, the trusses in the roofs, the griders in the bridges etc. Leadership is partly an art. It is believed that, all you have to do is to create a quiet moment, stare by focusing continuously, consistently concentrating on just one thing ‘looking through the wall’ until you see. Observation is powerful.
The final element within the A-O-R model is Reflection. When I was exposed to Reflection in Leadership theories, some 15 years ago, it caught my attention because leaders need doses of this pill. Leaders who develop their skills in the area of reflections, major the art of seeing the end from the beginning. You can approach reflections from many angles. Yet in leadership discussions, it is beautiful to see reflection as an action of bending back. It involves the production of images just like looking through a mirror. It’s far from glancing. It’s reflection. I mean reflection. It involves meditation. Progressively, we’ll be reflecting in the coming weeks.
This is Leadership!