Wednesday, May 05, 2010

On Leaders and Leadership

It Still Amazes Me
Image by shainelee via Flickr
Tonight, my friend Chris Doelle wrote a post titled Lead - don't be a leader. Having been a student of leadership for the longest time, I understand the subtle message Chris writes. I think maybe I can illuminate a little more.

Take our leaders in Washington D.C. They are leaders; but, they don't lead. Those leaders stick a wet finger in the air to figure out what they should do next. This is reflected in that public opinion of Congress is at an all time low. They are leaders; but nobody trusts Congress. In this case, people respect the office; the person in office would get that respect regardless of who they are, purpose or no purpose.

Compare that against people like Martin Luther King, Jr and Mother Teresa. People supported them because they had a clear vision and message. Furthermore, they were resolute on carrying out their purpose. You could trust that they would not waver. They weren't out to seek recognition and be in front of issues; they had a purpose and a determination to see that purpose through. You could believe in them wholeheartedly. Furthermore, they did not seek out any recognized office. They were respected because of who they were and what they did, not because they had a title attached to their name.

With this said, I agree with Chris that one should strive to lead. Find your purpose and enlist the help of others to see it through. You will find your achievements much more satisfying and fullfilling than simply filling a vacancy.

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