Byron's Babbles

As You Go, So Go Those You Lead

Posted in Coaching, Education, Leadership, Learning Organization by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on September 2, 2011

I was listening to WIBC radio on my way to school, as I always do, this week. One of the guest sports commentators made a comment that caused me to do some thinking. The comment was, “As Peyton Manning goes, so go the Colts.” In other words it was going to be a tough year for the Colts until Peyton returns. This got me thinking about my own role as a teacher leader and department head at my school. What would I want to happen if suddenly I was not around tomorrow?

Now, please don’t take this as me putting down the Colts for not having someone ready to just step into that role because that is not the point at all. The statement by the commentator made me think back to something that I learned from reading the work of John Maxwell. He talked about leading in a way you can be replaced. The idea is that you have been a servant leader in such a way that others have been lifted up to a level where they could actually replace you.

I realize this would be extremely tough to do in the case of Peyton Manning but we can learn from the fact that the other quarterbacks under Peyton are certainly learning from their experience. I am sure my fellow Boilermaker, Curtis Painter, has learned a great deal from working with Peyton Manning. Still, we can reflect on our own situations and think about the people we work with. Are we developing their talents in a way that they could replace us. If we are truly servant leaders, wouldn’t the goal be that if we were gone tomorrow everything would continue seamlessly?

In fact, as Max De Pree said in Leadership Jazz, “leaders have to be vulnerable, have to offer others the opportunity to do their best. Leaders become vulnerable by sharing with others the marvelous gift of being personally accountable.” De Pree also talked about how leaders work to bring the special and creative gifts out in others.

This has really caused me to reflect and determine what I would want said about me if I could not return to school on Monday. I would hate for someone to say “As Byron Ernest goes, so goes Lebanon Community School Corporation.” I would rather have those I have worked with, coached and mentored say, “Wow, because of my time spent with Byron, I am ready the the next big steps and responsibilities that come my way.”

Hopefully, this will cause you to think about becoming vulnerable to those you serve!

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