Leadership requires that the head, the heart and the hands all work in harmony. The key issues are whether your leadership desire is fueled by design or by default, rooted in principles of character or self-service and founded in the ways of wisdom or the illusions of success.
Reflections on Leadership
Leadership is a combination of adaptability, attitude, purpose, passion and people. It is the sense that people feel when they speak with you. It is the footprint you leave behind. With the daily amount of continuous rapid change only people and organizations that are resilient will survive and only individuals that are driven by their principles and not by events of their day will be capable of effective leadership.
In North America we are experiencing a crisis of leadership. There are too many people thinking about themselves and too few concerned with others.
Often, leaders are driven by the events of their day instead of by their principles and convictions. Many managers who aspire to lead and develop others haven't learned how to lead and develop themselves.
They are trying to create organizations or services that are different than they are. These well-intentioned people are trying to improve their teams or organizations without first, improving themselves.
"The secret of a leader lies in the tests they have faced over the whole course of their life and the habit of action they develop in meeting those tests.“ -Gail Sheehy-
From my perspective I have found that leadership is:
- Influence rather than affluence.
- Purpose over promotion.
- Responsibility over accountability.
- Inspiration rather than aspiration.
- Service over status.
- Credibility rather than power.
- Developed rather than appointed.
I have also realized that there are common challenges all leaders face that absolutely require a resilient outlook and stand:
- Getting new people and keeping them
- Developing (growing) new leaders
- Motivating people
- Dealing with change
- Supporting existing leadership
- Dealing with constant restructuring and re-engineering
- Dealing with public criticism and demands
- Financial responsibility
- Development of new programs and services
- Balancing you own work and home life