During the past few weeks my working relationships have undergone a major shift. There is a new boss and everything is in review. From my perspective leaders are often shaped by the events of their early days. It is a difficult challenge to start fresh each morning, leaving the battles of yesterday as mere lessons learned without names. The challenge for virtually every leader lies in choosing the lessons to extract a knowledge bit without names, which personal battle to recall, and which injury to consign to the experience bin without having a personal ID attached to it.
The best leaders seem to forget the name with the battle as soon as the battle is complete, regardless of who wins or loses. In my experience the “mean-tempered leaders are like mad dogs; the good-natured are like fresh morning dew.” (Proverbs 19.13) Ironically, as easy as it is to see this is others, it is equally difficult to evaluate my personal behavior and live out the very model I seek. The challenge is two-fold.
First, we are all leaders. We may be leading a small group of people, even if we do not see or believe it. We do, as a leader, establish goals, visions, priorities, values, and way of living that touches and “leads” at least one person, our self! Often our touch extends far broader and deeper than we realize or believe.
Second, we naturally want to be led. People disagree with this however in on closer examination look at what leadership means. People look for values, priorities, mission, purpose, and methods. People seek to understand their path or road. People function best when the journey has time for reflection and nurture. In others words people look for the very things that leaders provide. The first examples of this are our parents. We love them without reservation for what they give us. As we see beyond them we discover that our thirst was not merely for our biological parents but for the parent of our soul, God.
We are leaders. The question is; what kind?