You are my leader, where are you taking me?
~ James C. Mangum
Leadership can be a daunting task. If you are a manager, you were likely plucked from the production line because you exhibited skills which inspired other managers above you. They made the assumption that because you are better at getting things done that you should be put in charge of your peers.
But there is a great divide between a manager and a leader.
An effective leader sets the agenda with a vision of where you need to go to find success.
Leadership success always starts with vision. Henry Ford dreamed of a car families could afford. Steve Jobs dreamed of an easy-to-use computer that would unleash creativity. Nelson Mandela dreamed of an integrated, prosperous South Africa – These were heady ideas, and they attracted more than a few sneers. But they weren’t the daydreams of lazy people with too much time on their hands. They were deep-seated passions, magnetic enough to capture the minds of just a few devoted followers at first but ultimately the imaginations of millions of women and men.
As a nineteen-year-old volunteer missionary I spent two years along the Mexican border to the United States working to help people improve their lives – while greatly improving my own. Fairly early in my service, I was put in a leadership position for which I felt I had little qualification. I recall expressing my concerns to our mission president, a successful business man from Provo, Utah. I still recall President Mangum’s cool stare he had as he looked deep into my eyes and said, “you are my leader, where are you taking me?”
Fast forward twenty years later, I’m still looking for the shorter term answer to that question. I certainly know what I want to accomplish in the very long term scheme of things. But I have a short attention span, so it takes concentrated effort for me to chunk down large goals into daily activities.
Throughout your career, regardless of positions you have held, you too are a leader. Maybe you have not had any managerial experience or title, but that still puts you in a place of leadership.
You likely have had many managers who were not leaders. In the void of direction, you or someone else on the team has stepped in and provided the much needed direction of what to do.
When you are in a leadership position, vision, integrity & compassion are infinitely more important than the words you say. These three traits are as important to your survival as air, food, and water.
In your own life, you are the greatest leader you will encounter. Because only you know and understand your deepest passion and desire for meaningful work. Only you can set the perfect agenda for your life. Anyone else will inject their bias.
The best leaders are able to fully be in the moment of whatever they are doing. When they commit their time and energy to something, they fully commit. ~ Ed Robinson
So, you are the leader of your life, where are you going to go? In leading others, where are you taking them?
- Hand Back the Pen (learnactshare.com)
- Should You be a Manager? (learnactshare.com)
- Good leaders are invaluable to a company. Bad leaders will destroy it. (forbes.com)