Clipping #35 — What Kind of Leader?

We are all leaders in some ways and most of us are led in some ways. The root question is what kind of leader energizes followers? The context can be work, politics, religion and even family. There are hundreds of books about leadership. This is not the preamble of another one. This is a short position paper. I have been around awhile and have observed many leaders. Here is what I have learned about effective leadership.

Most of us are more willing to be led by those with integrity, who are committed to clear goals, who are fair, consistent, wear smiles well and who build good teams. I have never been inclined to follow anyone who lacked those qualities. But there is another quality that adds value to those qualities. I like the term, ennoble. Some meanings include honoring, enhancing and elevating.

I have worked for and with many leaders. I remember most and best those who challenged me to stretch. When I was asked to do something significant with few guidelines, I had to innovate, invent, risk, lose sleep, maybe lose friends, entrust others to help and live emotionally suspended with hope that we could pull it off. When I did that, I got the external rewards, but more important, I felt honored, enhanced and energized to do more and better.

And, if I feel ennobled by such leadership, is this not the way I should lead when given the opportunity? What is your take away on this?

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