A few days ago, I received and interesting email from a good friend. “I will give you a call in a bit about this post…” was all it said. No salutation or sign-off. He is a regular management columnist in the local Business Daily. “What had he noticed in my blog post?” I wondered. Being the optimist, I focused on the positive. I thought he has found life-changing inspiration in my thoughts.
Later in the evening, after a raucous exchange of pleasantries (he is a fun, loud chap) he blurted out, “I give you a 1 out of 10 for your blog post today!” What? Did I hear that right? So much for my optimism. Under normal circumstances, I would have become super-defensive. But I listened…
He took me through the emotions he underwent as he read my blog. The title had drawn him in, but something was missing in the content and he was yearning for more. Furthermore, he gave it to me straight up that my post was not up to the quality he expected of me. You know what? He was spot on!
I re-wrote the post to meet the need of one man. Was it necessary? Without a doubt it was. The reason I write is to fulfill a need. It is to share knowledge and inspire perspective to life, work and family. As I write, I strengthen my leadership and learn how to become a better follower.
A short while back, I attended a meeting with a difference. About a hundred men gathered together to engage in discussion around the meaning for their existence; spiritually, in society, at home and at work. There was a palpable buzz in the room. From the very onset, I had a feeling that something awesome was afoot.
For many men, it does not come naturally to us to meet and discuss intimate matters that affect our personal lives. We would rather discuss politics, sports, cars or women for hours on end than admit that we need help. Yet the cry for help was the clarion call in this meeting. Men coming together and saying, “I need help!”
So, what did I learn from these two experiences?
Leaders meet a need, not a target [TweetMe]. The need is a cry from the younger men for role models. They want to be led. They want to learn. They need hope. There is a need from the older folk. They have a deep craving to be significant, to matter. To lead is essential or very important for them to inspire future generations. When needs are met, a sense of belonging and stability is cultivated.
Leaders are pillars of unity. However, unity is broken when I participate in active/passive disobedience and refuse to take responsibility for my actions or calling. This happens when I am overwhelmed by fear or I am too lazy to commit to the task ahead. You can gauge a leader’s influence by his or her ability to instil unity in their followers regardless of the surrounding conditions.
Faithful people needed, must be ready to lead courageously. When I lead courageously, I begin to define the fellowship of where great initiatives spawn [TweetMe]. I need to take time to actively listen to others. To listen requires patience and time dedicated to it. Sometimes, listening is a dangerous adventure and I need all the courage to embrace criticism, rebuke or correction.
Leadership is complementary, not competitive. Who really pays the price in competition? How complementary are we as leaders to inspire hope in people? Do I give people faith in their capability that propels them forward in love? I read this interesting insight: “Faith is walking as you are. It is being stripped down to your own bare essentials and simply saying here I am.” Complementarity is when a leader has a healthy perspective of life and work. As Lolly Daskal says, “Losing perspective is being stuck in one single view of things and becoming distant from other views.”
When I choose to become a leader, I must be ready to pay the price [TweetMe]. The choices I make are driven by the values I hold. A leader can only be as effective as his or her deeds. I can’t expect to instigate meaningful change if I can’t live that change in the first place. For your influence to be followed, leaders have to pay at the door! I have to be the change that I wish to see in the world around me. I have to pay the price…
“I dream of men who take the next step instead of worrying about the next thousand steps,” T. Roosevelt.