Leadership is about steering your team through challenges and doing so with vision as your compass. To lead holistically, you need to coordinate and guide your team’s operations by building a culture of an inspiring and inclusive work environment.

While there is no scientific formula or a holy book on leadership, a few elements stand out. In the context of effective and holistic leadership, we can identify the following as key building blocks that define a successful and impactful leadership journey.


As an effective leader, one needs to encourage second and/or third opinions and let other people’s voices be heard – no matter how distant they may seem. A holistic leader cares about the whole team – not just a few frontrunners.  


Part of a leader’s responsibility is providing an enabling environment for teams and colleagues to make the best out of their skills, competencies, and abilities. Empowering those that you lead is a call of duty, not a carrot to be dangled for self-gratification.


Different situations, contexts, and cultural realities require maturity and humility to adapt. On a face value, learning to adapt may be considered a weakness. However, the hallmark of a holistic leader is measured by how well and ready they are to adapt to situations without missing the vision. Keeping to your True North while adjusting the ‘how’ is the mark of a seasoned leader.


A leader is a strategic decision-maker. It pays handsomely to strategically lose some battles in order to win the war. With a clear vision of your goal, making those critical decisions becomes less of a hustle and more of an innate strategy.


Leadership calls for a mastery of emotional intelligence. Quite often a leader is called upon to motivate a team whilst the latter’s disharmony is in top gear. Building unity of purpose while keeping each member’s interest moderate requires a high level of EQ. Empathizing without losing your compass as a leader not only makes you stand out but also puts you on the pedestal of great leadership achievements.


Respect is earned, not requested, forced, or bought. Building a culture of respect within teams is a recipe for optimum personal and organizational performance. Just like a staircase, respect goes up and down – it’s two-way traffic and should never be mistaken for a superhighway. Create an environment where people thrive without the need to step on others or worse, misrepresent ‘just to get a head’.


Seasoned leaders are strategic about how they handle matters and lead teams. Their basic principle is to use creative problem-solving skills and strategic vision to help their team members and/or the organization achieve long-term goals. Remember that vision is every leader’s True North.


Coupled with respect and listening, honesty cements the attributes and character of a great leader. When served with integrity, honesty births trust which ultimately gives teams a reason to rally behind a leader. Without it, a leader attracts unnecessary doubts or misgivings that are too expensive to pay in the long term.


By encouraging those that they lead, a holistic leader inspires confidence and trust in their teams. An inspired spirit and body will stop at nothing short of what they set out to achieve.


Great and holistic leaders embody GRIT. They are unwavering in their passion and perseverance to achieve the set long-term goals. Speaking out their vision is so natural to them that it’s actually infectious. Their cheetah-like focus fueled by the perseverance to live the vision is audaciously irresistible.  

In a nutshell, LEADERSHIP:

L          =          Listening

E          =          Empowering

A          =          Adapting

D          =          Deciding

E          =          Encouraging

R          =          Respecting

S          =          Strategizing

H         =          Honesty

I           =          Inspiring

P          =          Persevering

By Kirimi Mitambo – EdTech | Product & Innovation Management | Mentorship

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