Perhaps a good starting point for talking about leadership is talking about what leadership is not:
- It’s not an abstract concept
- It’s not strictly philosophical
- It’s not something that’s just reserved for top management
Leadership is alive, it’s real, it’s vibrant and it’s personal!
An individual, regardless of where they exist in the organization, is a leader; every individual has a unique set of experiences that can help an organization to grow.
My concept of leadership is based on three simple principles:
- Learning – the essence of organizational growth
- Teaching – everyone in the organization has gifts and talents they can share both personally and professionally
- Sharing – which ties together the process of learning and teaching and makes it real.
The power of the organization is really driven by the power of the individual … and the success of the organization is really a function of how well we’re able to capture those unique talents, gifts and experiences.
Leadership is using one’s influence for a worthwhile cause.
Leadership is about taking responsibility for working with others on shared goals.
Everyone has some circle of influence where it is possible to take responsibility for leadership.
Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese philosopher said, “A leader is best when people barely know he (or she) exists, and when his work is done, when his aim is fulfilled, they will say, we did it ourselves.
So: What do leaders do?
- They scale ideas, not just programs or organizations
- Their first job is to build and support other leaders
- They take chances on people
- They advocate for change but stay grounded in service
There is an incredible amount of idealism, energy, passion and intelligence out there that is overlooked and unharnessed.
We face an abundance of challenges … digital disruption, convergence, cyber security threats, new hiring, the economy, marketplace competition, consumer expectations, the virtual workspace, new political administrations, finding capital, etc.
These are challenges that no one leader can solve.
We need more leaders … we are the ones we’ve been waiting for!
Whether you’re a director, manager, staff member, family member or consumer:
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
Just look to your left, to your right, in front of you, behind you … there’s someone there with needs, challenges, concerns … you can help!
Take them by the hand and walk with them through the forest we call life.
There’s always a way … Help find the way!