A few thoughts on leadership
An INC article came to my email. The article, 5 Red Flags That Someone Is Not Fit To Lead People, got me thinking about leadership. We all know what bad leaders are like but how many of us have had the pleasure of working with or under good or even great leadership? Sadly, I think that number is dwarfed by those who have worked under bad and terrible leadership.
I started working while in high school. I would go to school and then go in and work for a few hours in a hot and steamy dish room at the local college. While working as a dishwasher I worked under 5 different managers, each with their own leadership style. Two of those leaders didn't care too much about the job and another was too busy flirting with the college girls. One of the chefs who oversaw the dish room at night seemed to take his anger and frustrations from his personal life out on our short-staffed team. I wouldn't label these people as "leaders". But there was one leader who stood out. He recognized each person's individual skills and talents. He was thankful and didn't use his position of power to enforce his rule. Instead, he would talk with us, treat us like equals, and run an effective shift. That is leadership.
This quote by Chris Hadfield should be at the beginning of every leadership book and embedded in the culture of every organization.
"Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It's about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others' success, and then standing back and letting them shine."
- Chris Hadfield