Information for Contributing Authors
I welcome article contributions to Realizing Leadership magazine. If you’d like to submit an article, the following outlines the types of articles published and not published.
There are many, many different definitions of ‘leader’ and the degree to which individuals have articulated their understandings, positions, and definitions of the term. The information outlined below speaks only to the focus of Realizing Leadership magazine and the types of articles and content published within. Please read for context and general understanding because little of the following is strictly black-and-white.
The focus area of leadership in Realizing Leadership is how to lead people. More specifically, how to best influence, motivate and inspire people to choose, by their own free will, to commit to, work towards and achieve a goal.
A) “Leader” and “Leadership” use in Realizing Leadership magazine
The magazine does not refer to the general or popular use (or misuse) of the words Leader or Leadership. While Realizing Leadership magazine focuses largely on the workplace, ‘leader’ does not refer to the boss, the CEO and other executives, the person in charge, the head of the organization or the individual who or group that is ranked first, etc. These individuals are not leaders by virtue of their title. In other words, the title does not make the leader.
Being a leader, as referred to in Realizing Leadership magazine, is a choice that is backed up by behaviours and actions that create relationships and environments which positively influence, motivate and inspire others to achieve the goals and objectives of the organization or business.
Sometimes clarity is better stated by outlining what the topic being discussed is not. For that purpose, I will give examples of what a leader is not. Sometimes the word ‘leader’ is used when other descriptors should be used. While there is obviously some functional overlap between leader and these terms, some authors use the word ‘leader’ when other words, such as those listed below, are better descriptors of the topic:
– facilitator (ie. How Leaders Run Effective Meetings, when it should read, How to Facilitate Effective Meetings)
– project manager
– CEO, VP, manager
– team leader (in this instance, ‘leader’ really means ‘head,’ ‘manager,’ ‘boss,’ etc.)
Consider the above with an example: CEOs and leadership. CEOs are the highest ranking executives; whether or not they are actual Leaders depends on whether or not they lead others according to the definition stated above. If CEOs are ‘leading’ through force and power-of-position, they’re not leading – they’re ordering, demanding and sometimes dictating. Leaders who force, coerce, intimidate or bully others do not have followers – they have people who do what they’re told to avoid some sort of undesirable consequence. These people are not followers, they’re doers.
Furthermore, the terms “leader” and “leadership” used in Realizing Leadership magazine do not refer to someone or a company who ranks first or who is in advance of another. For example, saying “an industry leader” states that within a particular industry, that company ranks above all or most of the others. The same goes for “thought leader” or “sales leadership” – these mean that the individual ranks highly in that field and is seen as an expert. Stating that someone is leading and meaning that he/she is “in the lead” means he/she is in advance or ahead of the others in the order of progression or amount. None of these definitions of “leader” or “leadership” are the focus of Realizing Leadership magazine.
CEOs who lead through trust, positive influence, inspiration, emotional intelligence, fairness and other factors that contribute to others in achieving their professional, personal – and therefore organizational – best, then these CEOs are Leaders because they are inspiring others to choose to follow and work towards a shared goal. Followers have the right to choose to follow and willingly agree and commit to follow the leader. It is with this understanding that anyone can lead, regardless of title, position, rank or role.
B) Leadership Articles
With the above understanding of ‘leader’ and, by extension, ‘leadership,’ the kinds of articles that are published in Realizing Leadership vary greatly. Within the vast topic areas, there are two requirements for publication:
1. Some theory or context that gives readers a better understanding of a particular area of leadership and its importance.
2. How-to steps to implement leadership skills in daily practice. Often, people know that they should do something, the issue is how to do it. Therefore, articles need to describe to the reader how to lead. For example, instead of saying, “Go and connect with others,” a Realizing Leadership article would describe three ways of connecting with others so the reader can visualize what to do.
C) Leadership-in-Action Articles
This is a new section of the magazine to share stories about leadership. Here, people and organizations highlight how leadership ‘shows up’ in their lives and organizations – how everyday people are changing our world. These articles and stories demonstrate leadership in a personal way: a goal that was reached through good leadership, a business that is run on good leadership practices, how leadership training is implemented so everyone has access to leadership development, and stories about making a difference in the lives of others through leadership.
A story may also illustrate an example of poor leadership and look at what created the poor leadership and the resulting consequences. Suggestions on how to avoid this situation in the future could be considered.
Also in this section are associations and their members who strive to achieve leadership excellence: provide training and development, implement good leadership practices on a daily basis, the impact of strong leadership on others and organizations.
Please note that articles published under this heading still require the context of leadership as described above. Describing a story about becoming the leader in a niche market using strategy and marketing techniques does not describe good leadership practice. A story describing how becoming a niche leader using good leadership practices from either the perspective of the ‘leader’ or the ‘follower’ are of interest to the magazine.
D) Types of Articles Not Accepted
For additional clarity, the following tactical topics are not published in Realizing Leadership:
– strategic models
– time management techniques
– business commentary and observations (ie. latest news in the business world – stocks, market conditions, etc)
– software (ie. that provides data on customers)
– project management
– HR (What HR should do to to integrate leadership. While this is important, Realizing Leadership is focused on non-executives and what they can do to become better leaders and develop leaders in their departments.)
Articles focused solely on management and management techniques are rarely accepted. Management and leadership are not synonymous, although they often overlap because both are necessary for successful business outcomes. This is a grey area and articles are accepted or not on an individual article basis as outlined in the next paragraph.
Within the above areas, there is no doubt that leadership takes place. For example, the following are articles that fall into the leadership focus of the magazine and qualify for publication:
– how to influence/inspire/motivate teams, employees, followers to execute the strategy
– how to influence/inspire/motivate teams, employees, followers to participate fully and effectively in the roll out of a project
– how to influence/inspire/motivate teams, employees, followers to create a positive corporate culture (that results in a significant competitive advantage)
– how to influence/inspire/motivate teams, employees, followers to work to their best ability
Articles also not accepted are ones with too many links, links to products/services (unless approved by the Editor) or appear ‘salesy.’ ‘Salesy’ refers to text that link to another source to finish getting information on the article topic (ie. “Check out more on this in my blog/book/website/white paper.”). This also includes “Contact us for more information”- contact information is in the bio and shouldn’t be referenced in the article. Not all restrictions are listed here; please use your good judgement.
Please note that the Editor may decline any article for publication at any point in the process, for any reason (even if not listed here), and this decision is final. While it’s unlikely that an article will be declined if the guidelines above are followed, it could happen and it’s better to have this stated upfront than after the fact.
Finally, all articles submitted MUST be your intellectual property – do not submit anything that you do not hold full copyright to.* Articles (words) published in Realizing Leadership magazine are the property of their respective authors and these authors have given their full consent to have them published in the magazine. Please note that while the words in the article are the copyright of the respective authors, the formatting (image and brand of the magazine) and any and all other words in the magazine are the copyright of Laurie Wilhelm.
In return for publishing their intellectual property, authors of articles over 1,000 words are given space for their bio, photo, book images, logos as well as the potential of complimentary advertising space. (You must provide the ad and it has to be approved for publication by the Editor.) Articles under 500 words are formatted as a one-page article that provides space for a 250 character (spaces included, maximum) bio and a photo and, providing there’s space in the allotted section, a book image and icons for links (to blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) as well as the potential of complimentary advertising space.
*Articles that include quotes by other authors must provide full credit details (author’s name, name of work, publisher, date of publication, volume number, page number etc.).
If you have any questions or would like additional clarification on any of the above, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d be happy to hear your thoughts and discuss the potential of your submission to the magazine.
Laurie Wilhelm, MBA
Editor, Realizing Leadership magazine