What does “leadership” make you think of?
Perhaps you thought of your work, likely you did.
Perhaps you thought of a boss you had that demonstrated all the best qualities of leadership. (see my Toastmasters category for a post about a leader like that!)
Perhaps you had the opposite experience, where you had a leader who demonstrated the exact opposite of leadership.
Are you a leader? Do you shy away from the title but still see yourself taking that role in your social group, your home, or at work?
I remember taking a Behavior Management course at Kwantlen college in Richmond, B.C. – great course because the instructor was so knowledgeable, interesting, and he made the course fun. I suppose I looked at the course material differently also, unlike the young adults taking the course, I was already married, and had been working for different employers for at least a decade while they were full-time students almost all. Since I had my work experience, which included different bosses with different jobs I had held ~ I could relate to the examples in the course. The boss who is controlling, the boss who mentors you, the boss who tries to make you fear him or her, the “best friend” kind of boss, and I knew the kinds of reactions these role models generated, including which ones worked and which did not.
Now three decades into a career, and involved in Toastmasters where the motto is “where leaders are made” I have more insights than ever on positive leadership.
Toastmasters are all volunteers in every club, and the leaders in the clubs, the successful leaders in the over 50,000 clubs in dozens of nations around the world are the leaders who know the secret of real leadership.
Do leaders delegate? – you know they have to.
Do leaders motivate, encourage, set milestones, monitor progress, set action plans, and recognize accomplishment, and provide feedback? – they had better do all of these actions.
Leaders lead by example. – that’s the secret. The real successful ones are getting the job done and doing the job together with you, you with them provide the pieces to bring it all together. Work goals and results are almost like potluck dinners, and each member brings to the table the results of their hard work. As a result, when each member does their part, then there are appetizers, main courses, salads, dessert and drinks and every sees the results of their COMBINED contribution.
Leaders lead by example, they not only coordinate the buffet, they follow up to make sure everyone knows their part, so the meal isn’t all pickles and no main courses, and like a conductor keeps everyone on beat. But the leader also contributes to the main course, contributes to every buffet item, in some part because of involvement and actual involvement exceeding coordination, if there is a gap anywhere the leader fills it.
The leader’s motto could be “Follow me, I’m right behind you.” [That is what leaders do, lead by example, and unfailingly provide real material support, encouragement, and recognition every step of the way.]
That’s my thoughts on the secret of leadership. I know there are many secrets, ideas, and good examples of leadership and this is one more for my blog. Please feel free to share your comments, and suggestions. Big Thanks for reading!