Leadership Is Action
I find it interesting seeing people wanting to be leaders like it is the first-place position in a race.
Each one is vying for that coveted position to be able to lead and tell people what to do.
A position that has an aura of power and authority that is bestowed upon them, that enables them to give commands that their people have to follow and carry out.
Such demonstration of intense focus to gain power is akin to purchasing a house, thinking that once the house is purchased it is the end of the journey. But that is far from the truth. While the initial act of purchasing a house requires a huge financial outlay, the work that comes after that is even bigger and more demanding.
After the purchase one has to tend to the needs of maintaining a property, like mowing the lawn, cleaning the gutters, trimming the bushes, planting and caring for the plants, raking leaves, shoveling the driveway during winters and the overall upkeep of the house inside and out. All the ensuing activities are often not clear until the purchase is completed because the intense focus of acquiring it shifts the focus to the house itself.
As John C Maxwell said, “Leadership is action, not a position.”
Most folks fail to realize that there is a lot required of them after they arrive at the destination and are given the opportunity to lead others. They have to serve their constituents; they need to spend a great deal of time and managing people is not easy. As a result, they fail at it because they don’t have a clear picture of what they need to do.
Therefore it is important for leaders to educate their constituents about the work that is ahead of the folks who desire to be leaders. Just like purchasing a house, the single act pales in comparison to the commitment you need to dedicate time to serve and lead others. Until you realize the effort needed and learn what lies ahead, it is best to take the time in your journey to equip yourself with the necessary skills and knowledge to make it happen.
I make it a point to mentor my people of the importance of the work that lies ahead and the commitment that is needed to get there.
John C. Maxwell said that as we move up, we have to give up and do more time with and for our people. Unless one realizes the work needed ahead, they will certainly fail in leading their people. If you’re willing to sacrifice your time and develop people, that is when you should contemplate being a leader.
One must develop the heart of serving others and growing talent around them. It is the best gift they can give to their constituents to help them grow and develop.
Writing is a labor of love, if you agree with my post let me know your thoughts. If you disagree, let me know your perspective, I look forward to learning from you.
As always, your contribution is thoughtful and useful.
I was struck by your reminder that leadership is action, rather than title.
Another aspect of shifting our perception of leadership toward what we do, rather what what we are called, involves the democratization of leadership.
If only those with titles can exhibit leadership, you have a very small and possibly low quality pool from which the organization can draw leadership.
If you think in terms of leadership as a function which anyone can and does exhibit as appropriate, you have greatly multiplied the leadership power of your group.
To use your buying a house analogy, if only the designated leader buys the house, that’s who has to worry about all those things you mentioned in the upkeep and maintenance of the house.
If everyone shares in the ownership of the house, everyone is engaged with upkeep, maintenance, and improvements:).
Thanks for another good leadership post.