When I was a wee boy (Yes, I am Scottish) leadership meant a lot. When we played Cowboys and Indians it was not just important to be on the winning wide, you also had to be the leader. Usually the leader of the Cowboys was the one with the best toy gun and the leader of the Indians had the best head dress. Now that I am slightly older (physically anyway) has it changed that much? People around me still seem to think that the leaders of this world have the biggest car, the biggest salary or the biggest something or other. Maybe they do have all those things but are they really leading anyone?
The term has eroded somewhat over the years of the information age but leading is not now and never has been about status. So what is it? It has been applied to politicians, religious leaders, cartoon characters, convicted criminals, company managers and many more that have been shown to actually use little or no Leadership skills, ethics, or focus at all. It has been used to describe men and women in business that would rather see their organization go bankrupt than make any concessions for its greater good. We all know of bankers and CEOs whose companies have lost millions and still granted themselves huge bonuses and payoffs. So we know what Leadership isn’t…….I believe that individuals and organizations in lead roles have a responsibility to those they lead as well as to their communities. It is not about the leader at all. It is about the individuals within the group and the goals they are mandated to achieve. The leader is simply a catalyst and conductor that channels the talents of the group in to a steady, efficient and highly focused and powerful stream of productivity. Therefore the person in the lead role must create a dynamic environment of clear and inspiring communication through a powerful vision, a clear set of goals, and a clear path to those goals.
Leadership is dead.
What the true meaning of being in a guidance position is and how ANYONE with openness to change, and action orientation, and the emotional control to walk the path can achieve anything they desire and strive for, while willingly helping those around them to do the same.
I am still playing Cowboys and Indians but that quiet wee boy in the corner with no fancy gun or head dress now plays a pivotal role in the game. He has a voice and contributes to the overall strategy. His input is valid and he does not get put down for his innovation and creativity. And, more importantly, his Mum gives us chocolate……..