Over the years, I’ve written a handful of posts on the topic of leadership – six to be exact. It’s a subject I feel very strongly about as it’s often misapplied and abused in governments, businesses and even our own homes.
Perhaps what always surprises me about leaders is how capable and credible they all believe themselves to be. While a degree of confidence is certainly necessary for any leader, far too many confuse confidence with egotism, and that dear readers is where the problem begins on the topic of leadership.
Today I saw a social media post from a former (and respected) colleague. Her office had recently reopened and a sound and appreciated safety plan had been instituted by her company’s leadership team. Wearing a face mask was a non-negotiable and everyone was expected to comply.
However, she found herself disheartened when she learned that her manager, a man she admired, repeatedly and deliberately ignored the rule and was often seen meandering through the office without any face covering. Here’s what she had to say.
“Isn’t it up to our leaders to be influencers? To inspire others with their actions and encourage those they lead to follow the rules and do the right thing? If those we’re supposed to be guided by don’t understand the importance of leading by example, they shouldn’t be surprised when those they lead have little respect for their abilities.
A powerful statement laced with truths many so-called leaders would undoubtedly disagree with. Another quality of an ill-equipped leader – they’ve forgotten how to listen and not just hear what other people are saying.
In a post from 2011 entitled, Living in a world without leadership, I wrote:
“We all need someone to believe in, someone we can place our trust as we continue our journey through life. Sadly, we’ll listen to just about anyone’s rhetoric in the absence of true and profound leadership. The “bosses” of the world long for our respect, our dedication and our commitment, but do very little to give us reasons to do so.”
If you want to be a true leader, inspire those you lead by your actions, your words and your compassion. Only then will you be respected for your abilities when it comes to the topic of leadership.