There is an African Proverb that is often posted on LinkedIn:
"If you think that you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a Mosquito"
The Mosquito Leader understands that their Sphere of Control is relatively small, even when they have risen to a quite senior level in their Organisation. However, they know that their success depends upon increasing
their Sphere of Influence far beyond that which they would normally derive from the position that they hold and they strive energetically to increase its diameter every day.
There are multiple ways in which they can do this but, at the core, is a clear belief in what they want to achieve and a willingness to create the networks required to achieve it. In the Digital era in which we now live, this is much easier in terms of the media that can be used for this, although this has not diminished the personal courage required. Social media in particular have enabled the way by which the Mosquito Leader may increase their Sphere of Influence beyond those people that they meet in person and instead reach a Global audience and, whilst external sites like LinkedIn are great tools for this, internal social media sites, such as those provided by Socialcast, and the use of Webinars and Webcasts, are excellent ways to engage with the Organisation directly and to ensure that your voice is heard.
In case the metaphor of the Mosquito has engendered the idea that the Mosquito Leader is a nuisance within the Organisation and someone to be eradicated, they are not someone who is fighting with the Organisation but, instead, is someone who believes passionately in the Goals of the Business and is highly engaged in challenging the business to meet those Goals in a better way; more effectively and with greater success than they otherwise would.
They are certainly a disruptive influence, but in a very positive sense, as they constantly ask the difficult questions of the Organisation and expect that the Status Quo be seen as something that will soon enter into history and, whilst the Mosquito often carries the Malaria virus, which Humans try to avoid, the Organisation will gain greatly from the Virus that the Mosquito Leader will infect it with; one of Transformation.
Mosquito Leadership is not easy, as it requires that the person is prepared to step out of their 'comfort zone' and expand upon their 'normal' duties.They may find, in fact will often find, resistance from across the Organisation and will not ingratiate themselves with those who fear the change that they are advocating and are activist in bringing about. In this sense they will be an irritant, just like the Mosquito, but it is a necessary part of this type of Leadership, whereby they must:
"Inspire through their actions; Challenge fear of change with their Heart and Mind; Execute through their Discipline, Focus and Stamina"
The true Mosquito Leader, as they grow in their role as a thought leader and role model for change, will deliver a Persistent Legacy, significant in their Organisation, which they, and everyone involved, can be extremely proud of.
There are many Lean Leadership Books out there but I have reviewed those that I think are of most use on my Book Recommendations page.
Follow Philip on Twitter:
"I aim to promote the global sharing of best practices in the application of Lean Thinking."