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  • Writer's pictureNimey Rin

Leadership and its environmental dimension

Updated: Dec 26, 2023

Leadership inherently requires adequate interactions with groups and individuals.

‘Leadership’ is a term which is heavily present in the contemporary world of work. However, it can be interpreted in various ways, shaped by individual viewpoints. From one standpoint, leadership is defined as the capacity to influence others towards the accomplishment of predefined goals. Leadership manifests in diverse styles and can take shape through various means, such as influencing, setting an example, or demonstrating different approaches tailored to an individual's characteristics.

In turn, the absence of effective leadership can result in a lack of clear direction, hindered communication, a demotivated workforce, challenges in decision-making, and insufficient commitment to success or goal attainment. Numerous factors underscore the crucial need for leadership in all spheres of life. Experiences with distinct leadership styles may be encountered in familial, professional, or educational settings. Among the most prevalent leadership styles are the Autocratic, Abdicratic, and Democratic styles.

Autocratic leadership involves the leader dictating the approach for members to achieve set objectives according to a predetermined plan. Abdicratic leadership, on the other hand, allows members to pursue the organization's goals in their own way, without direct guidance from the leader. Lastly, the democratic style, familiar in many countries, including Cambodia, emphasizes group decision-making and teamwork for tasks within a collective setting.

But what does it take to become a leader? If aspiring to leadership, it's crucial to introspect and identify the necessary attributes to embark on this journey. Allow me to share some key characteristics that leaders should possess, gleaned from insights of various leaders:

· Vision for Change: A leader must harbor a vision for positive transformation.

· Passionate to Help Others: A genuine passion for assisting and uplifting others is essential.

· Clear Vision for Self and Team: Clarity in personal and team objectives is imperative.

· High Responsibility: Leaders bear a significant responsibility for their actions and decisions.

· High Empathy: Empathy is crucial for understanding and connecting with others.

· Humble Acceptance of Feedback: A leader should be humble enough to accept constructive criticism.

· Ability to Turn Challenges into Opportunities: Transforming challenges into opportunities reflects strong leadership.

The right combination of attitude and skillsets makes a good leader.

While these characteristics serve as a foundation, variations may exist based on individual personality, experiences, and education levels. Furthermore, a leader must possess essential skills. Here are some key skills which I consider crucial for effective leadership:

· Communication Skill: Enhance your ability to communicate effectively by refining your communication skills.

· Engagement Skill: Learn how to engage with others and attract individuals to join or collaborate with you.

· Task Delivery Skill: Effectively assign tasks to your team members once they join, ensuring active participation towards achieving the shared goals.

· Risk Management Skill: Develop this skill to lead others more effortlessly in completing tasks assigned by your superiors, enabling better preparation for unforeseen or unpredictable circumstances.

· Engagement: This pertains to the skill of engaging people to become part of your team.

· Good Communication Skill: Maintain a present and attentive demeanor while communicating. Clearly define the purpose of your communication. Demonstrate respect and empathy towards others.

· Knowing the Goal: Clearly understand your purpose and what support you require from team members to achieve your goals.

· Identify Team Abilities: Recognize the unique gifts and talents of each team member to lead effectively.

· Deliver Objectives to the Team: Master the art of conveying information or plans to align the team with the desired goals.

Nature is an increasingly important field of demonstrating leadership.

Besides these, relatively traditional aspects, leadership journeys nowadays can be highly enriched by including outdoor-related aspects and environmental awareness in the skillset. Leaders work extensively with people, necessitating an understanding of others' backgrounds and stories. In this regard, the "Iceberg & Crystal" concept is advisable to apply, delving beneath the surface to comprehend individuals on a deeper level before passing judgment. Recognizing everyone's uniqueness, including hidden aspects, fosters effective leadership. Thus, leaders should devote time to introspection and exercises such as the "tree" or "diamond" method. "Your tree" involves uncovering your roots, upbringing, family history, values, and personal story. "My (or your) diamond" entails understanding your emotional and intellectual quotient. Both methods contribute to holistic self-awareness.

Moreover, leaders may also engage in outdoor activities for fun, pleasure, physical and mental health improvement, and inner growth. Activities may include cycling, camping, adventure travel, running, jogging, walking, animal riding, hiking, skydiving, flying kites, rock climbing, swimming, kayaking, fishing, diving, boat riding, and more. These activities, amongst others, entail various advantages for accurate leadership, such as:

· Physical Improvement: Cultivating a habit of engaging in outdoor activities contributes significantly to physical fitness and a healthy appearance. Those who embrace outdoor activities find themselves consistently active and, coupled with dietary changes, develop a keen understanding of their body's needs.

· Mental Improvement: Individuals who immerse themselves in outdoor activities or connect with nature, as opposed to indoor pursuits, carve out valuable time for self-reflection. This exploration leads to a deeper understanding of oneself compared to those who do not engage in such activities. Progress in this realm broadens their perspective, fostering a greater understanding of the environment and the people around them.

· Increased Opportunities and Networking: Spending more time outdoors provides ample opportunities to meet new people, establish connections, and network with others. Engaging in outdoor activities allows for the exchange of information and the potential to form new friendships with those who share similar interests.

· Confidence Building: Venturing outdoors translates to encountering new experiences and people, resulting in a gradual boost in confidence. Exposure to unfamiliar situations empowers individuals to face new people and challenges, contributing to personal growth by overcoming fears and enhancing confidence and emotional intelligence.

Fulfilled leaders often have specific nature spots for their learning journey.

In conclusion, effective leadership goes beyond traditional attributes and skills, encompassing a dynamic blend of qualities that adapt to the evolving challenges of the modern world. While attributes like empathy, resilience, and communication skills remain foundational, the contemporary leadership landscape recognizes the growing importance of outdoor and environmental capabilities. Leaders with a keen understanding of the natural world and a commitment to environmental sustainability not only foster a culture of responsibility but also navigate the complex intersections between business, society, and the environment. As such, a holistic approach to leadership, incorporating both traditional attributes and forward-thinking environmental stewardship, is paramount.


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