Leadership

You should never blindly accept a leader’s advice or intuition. Leaders are human beings and likely on that basis, fallible.

Despite the fact that most leaders in America (e.g. heads of companies and heads of families) exercise their authority in a decidedly undemocratic context, you are wise to respectfully question and challenge the thinking of those in positions of leadership…to a point. Disagreements can be paralytic if held over time.

If a leader cannot defend his or her views rationally, empathetically and without resorting to “because I’m the boss, that’s why” arguments, he or she is unfit to lead. That said, there are very few clear-cut decisions in life. Leaders must constantly make judgment calls, that is, best guesses based on the available information. And at a certain point, a decision must be made, no matter how fragile the consensus.

The question I put today to anyone who would lead is this: are you leading in way that others would follow you voluntarily or are you leaning on the crutch of position or title? Likewise, the question I put to those followers out there is this: are you following passionately and consciously, taking initiative when appropriate and giving your highest and finest in all matters?

4 thoughts on “Leadership

  1. Coco

    One of the qualities of a good leader is that they are a good follower as well. To really understand how the process works you have to experience it from both sides. In my own career, every really outstanding boss that I’ve had spoke about some mentor that helped them as they developed or was a valued follower to their boss. Leaders depend on their ability to make that educated guess. A portion of that education comes through the experience of being a balanced follower.

  2. Kierney

    This is a fantastic question and I would answer it from both standpoints (being both a leader and a follower of a leader). As a leader, I would never want to resort to “pushing” my will on others. Instead, I find that inspiration, collaboration and respect are the most important aspects of leadership – in whatever capacity you may find yourself..

  3. Chuck Reddick

    Leadership is a topic that has been of deep interest to me for about thirty years, and the more I study and learn about it, the more grand and significant it becomes. Although I have a great deal of respect for managers in the traditional sense, I have noted that leaders elevate the experience and therefore the outcome in ways that often are difficult to exactly identify. Let me give just one example: managers focus on processes and outcome, always needing to quantify things, while leaders focus on people, in particular the development of people. Interestingly enough in most cases leaders get more done more effectively by focusing their attention on the development of others than the manager does who has a focus strictly on outcome. All of that being said, I am not certain that one can be a great leader without also being a great manager first.

  4. Joy

    Great topic for consideration Gregg, definitely worthy of a weekend seminar, at least! I cannot think of a good leader who has not been willing to be a follower at some stage in their life, but many “followers” are reluctant to be leaders because leadership can be uncomfortable. You’re bound at some stage as a leader to be accused of pulling rank, but as a leader you cannot react or shrink from such accusations. As a leader, in my business setting, and I hope in life in general, it has been so humbling and helpful to find myself facing similar situation that in the past I’d been judgmental of. Life certainly has a way of constantly propelling us onward and upwards, if we give it half a chance.

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