A few years ago, in my search for a better way to define leadership, I stumbled on the work of international leadership strategist Nikos Mourkogiannis. In his book, titled  “Purpose: The Starting Point of Great Companies“, he talks about the TIME framework that gives four essential actions that every leader must master.

• “Think: Devise a direction or outline plan.
• Inspire: Generate collective support for this direction and the kind of action that will be required.
• Mobilize: Make sure that all the relevant individuals agree to cooperate and to accept specific roles.
• Empower: Set up the systems needed to maintain momentum.”

Mourkogiannis’ TIME framework is very similar to the 5 questions of strategy proposed by Roger Martin.

Martin says to come up with strategy, one needs to ask the following questions:

  1. What are our broad aspirations for our organization & the concrete goals against which we can measure our progress?
  2. Across the potential field available to us, where will we choose to play and not play?
  3. In our chosen place to play, how will we choose to win against the competitors there?
  4. What capabilities are necessary to build and maintain to win in our chosen manner?
  5. What management systems are necessary to operate to build and maintain the key capabilities

Both Martin and Mourkogiannis emphasize an iterative approach rather than a hierarchical one.

I think both of these are excellent frameworks to use to define the work of a leader.

Related Article: The Job Description of a Leader.