What is a leader’s most important role? Kristin Mackey suggests it’s to be the example.
She goes on to say: “Leaders influence the direction of the team by their thoughts and behaviors. The very language a leader chooses to use can make or break the level of talent that surfaces.”
Sandra Martinez, Ph.D suggests a leader’s most important role is acting collectively in the present to shape the future.
“This means having the capacity to build trust among diverse groups of people to advance toward a shared goal. It means exerting influence to harness collective intelligence and mobilizing new and alternative resources to prototype change. It also implies creating a space for a ‘shift in perspective’ that frees people individually and collectively to view the world in a different way thus creating momentum to act in significantly different and more constructive ways.”
Here’s My Answer…
A leader’s most important role is to bring people to choice. As John Maxwell says, “Leadership is influence.”
One way to know how you have influenced someone is to observe their choices. Or even better, consider that to influence someone is to bring them face to face with a choice that will either move them and/or a desired future forward or not.
It is in the moment that someone must make a choice that they have the opportunity to express their true commitments and intentions. In doing so, they access their power, and you get the best of what they have to contribute.
Choose for them and you will get compliance at best. Empower people to choose for themselves and you cultivate both ownership and leadership.