This is Leadership with Richard Kwarteng Ahenkorah: Blink


‘Learn to control blabbing so to increase action’

I like leadership. I admire leaders. I always want to know the things they do and what they don’t. When followers make demands and subsequently push the walls consistently and persistently, the thing may happen out of the two – you see an effective leader or you’ll see an ineffective leader.

When followers stay awake, leaders should not sleep. When followers sleep, leaders can only blink. Leadership requires that decisions are made within a blink of a moment, especially in this fast-paced cunning wobbly environment. To the point, leadership is commitment.

A leader must be serious and steady-going at all times. New leaders must also learn the art of blinking by taking decisions on their feet. This requires adequate doses of intelligence. Hughes et al (2015) and Ahenkorah (2018) confirm that 21st century leaders must be intelligent analytically, practically, creatively and emotionally. Intelligent leaders master the blink. In difficult times, good leaders go with the blink. In crisis, good leaders show up.

Leaders stand out to create good conditions for followers and not to scream in the rain in tears and fears. Leaders control blabbing to increase action. Learning to stand when everything is falling requires a beautiful skill of blinking. When you go into yourself and you come out, the process takes the mind on a beautiful journey from home.

In recruitment interviews for example, a good leader, without interacting with applicants, could tell who should be in or out. Although the leader cannot always be right in this context, a leader with the right skill of blinking, wouldn’t be far from right either. Leaders who practise the blink have a way of taking people on quick mind trips.

The blink is a skill developed over time to form part of leader instincts. Leaders struggle in their roles if they fail to develop this skill. It is inbred and the challenge is that leaders may not know when this skill may be required. It’s like thinking on your feet. The lack of the art of blinking makes leaders wobble dangerously under pressure. If the world is believed to be in constant crisis, then the world needs leaders with cool heads.

Hence, leadership must provide constant direction. Here, leaders must not give in to pressure. Their inherent aptitude must provide relative amount of calmness needed to control self, people and situations. Which is why leadership proposes that leaders operate in unruffled spaces with the mastery of the blink.

This makes the art of the blink very crucial for leadership discourse. How do you remain calm, do and make quick decisions in a VUCA world? To do or not to do is insistence on the situation. Quick decisions in crisis must provide solutions, quickly. To assert your dominance is in your T-pose. The T-pose is to stand straight and stretch both arms to the left and to the right. This empowers you to appreciate the reality and the abstract responsibilities to control your area.

When you blink, literally, the eyelids tend to spread a cocktail of mucous and some amounts of oils secreted on the surface of the eye globes just to prevent the eye orbs from drying out. Learning to make decisions within a blink helps leaders to clear substantial amount of stress from work schedules and subsequently makes leaders see clearly.

Leaders who learn the leadership art of blinking are decisive. They think fast. They think smart. Leadership is always going through some kind of scrutiny because of its monstrous, elusive, snow-balling and enigmatic nature as always hinted. If leaders intend to wait for a perfect moment to act, leadership would never happen because there’s no perfect picture.

Blink to capture the moments. Blink to decide on the go. Blink to learn to make decisions in seconds. Blink to tap into your instincts. Blink to see from a distance. Blink to live in the future. Blink to keep the dream alive. Leaders who learn the art of blinking get there before the reality arrives.

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