Distinctions in Leadership

It’s been a little over a week since we led our first ever convention-hall leadership programme. It was definitely an exhilarating experience for each one of us at Pivotal with this new milestone!

We believe that leadership is for everyone and we thought it’d be valuable to share the key idea of our programme: Having Distinctions in Leadership

While leadership development generally focuses on leaders acquiring the skills and knowledge, we decided to place emphasis on shifting and expanding the attitudes and beliefs of our young leaders, getting them to explore Distinctions in Leadership.

What is Distinction?

Distinction is the difference between things that seem similar. It offers granularity to things we see.

Imagine with me, if you now have a ruler with only meter markings, and you’re asked to measure your foot with this meter ruler. How long is your foot? The best guess you can have is ‘it’s about 1/5 the ruler.’ If now the centimeter markings are added, you now can be sure to say that ‘it’s 21 cm’, because you can now see more and see clearly. In other words, ‘Without distinctions, we cannot see.’

It is important to also note that even when you cannot see the distinction, it does not mean it doesn’t exist. A chef can taste the distinctions in a dish that others can’t; a doctor can identify the distinctions in his patient’s symptoms; an accountant can detect creative accounting. Professionals are paid for their ability to see/make distinctions. The profession you’re in has its set of distinctions that you can easily see that someone else can’t.

As leaders, it is therefore important to build leadership distinctions such that we can see more and see clearly what is happening for ourselves, in our teams, with our people, which will allow us to lead more effectively. An example of leadership distinction is ‘Leadership development is self-development.’

So, what are some distinctions in leadership you’re seeing?

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