If a learning opportunity is like a meal, then leadership, as a type of a learning opportunity is a banquet. In my fourth year of leadership I find myself challenged, stretched, humbled, baffled, and more on a daily basis.
What is your ideal leader like?
Is (s)he the smartest person in the room? That’s not me.
Is (s)he the strongest? That’s not me.
Is (s)he the most persuasive? That’s not me.
Is (s)he the loudest? Not me.
For the life of me I can’t really figure out why my colleagues elected me to be their leader. I truly think that it all boils down to one thing: I was willing to do the job. Reluctant, but willing. Apparently that was enough.
And now they’re stuck with someone who isn’t the smartest, isn’t the strongest, isn’t the most persuasive, and isn’t the loudest. So how does one lead these smart, strong, persuasive, loud people? Every day I set out to figure that out.
Today I’m thinking that a combination of vision and flexibility might be a winning combination. A leader sets out the vision of where the group is going to go, then declares a strategy for how to get there, and is then flexible to adopt their better ideas as we forge our way together down this path.
We don’t seem to have any choice now. But most of the time I find myself wishing that we had a better leader.