Byron's Babbles

Be A Leader!

screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-8-25-23-pmIf you aspire to be a great leader, the first requirement is that you look and listen, so that you can find out the true needs that a situation demands to be fulfilled. It seems to me there is a general myth that leaders are born rather than made, that somehow nature produces a peculiar species of human being who is bigger, more powerful, smarter, braver, and more charismatic than the rest. During this presidential election year I have been reflecting more and more on this. I have caught myself saying, “Is the right person even out there to lead our country for continued greatness?” A democracy, more perhaps than any other form of government, needs great men and women to lead and inspire the people. Now, there are lot’s of different theories out there as to why we might lack great leaders, such as:

  1. Our system of government does not always lend itself to the best people being elected to office.
  2. We seem to linger in a perpetual leadership vacuum.
  3. Are we open to having dialogue with leaders who are going to bring the spark of creativity to the situation?
  4. Are we open to having dialogue about new and tranformative ways of doing things?
  5. Ego causing leadership failure.

Americans, however, myself included, maintain that when the hour comes, it brings the right person. For example, it brought Abraham Lincoln. When he was nominated by the famous convention of 1860 his name had been little heard of beyond his own state. But he rose at once to the level of the situation, and that not merely by virtue of strong clear sense, but by his patriotic steadfastness and noble simplicity of character. If this was luck, it was just the kind of luck which makes a nation hopeful of its future, and inclined to overlook the faults of the methods by which it finds its leaders.

I believe we can all be great leaders, with all the rewards this carries, while still serving the needs of the whole group. We must, however, take an introspective look at ourselves and the areas for improvement we need to make. Having looked and listened, you will know the situation you are in and the need that is crying out to be fulfilled. This deep listening coupled with the criterion values and not compromising those values shapes a model of successful leadership.

We also need to have someone else…share with us the way they experience us…because it’s hard to see our own blind spots or limiting assumptions. We need to get feedback from trusted folks we either know or do not know. Here is my challenge to you: Connect to your top professional priority. Ask yourself: What is the one thing I could get better at that would help me most with my most important professional priority? Create a personal improvement goal around this professional priority. Does the goal implicate you? Your goal implicates you if it is clear that you must get better at something. Your goal should focus on something you can control. It should focuson something specific about yourself that you want to improve. Let’s all own being a better leader.

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