That is so true, think about it. What are some of the times when a leader is most needed?
- when two sides cannot agree
- when there needs to be a quick decision made that everyone can get behind
- when strategy changes
- when vision needs to be re-cast
- when people are discouraged or unorganized
Great leadership to me of course is first of all God based. But beyond that, there can be no secret agenda, no desire to be known, no egomaniacs. We are surrounded in the media by people who clearly lead only to achieve status and recognition. And usually the only followers are those that hope to benefit from the leaders success, sadly it very often has nothing to do with the cause, the cause simply serves as a platform.
The more giving a leader is, the more productive she will be. I don't mean giving your life away with no boundaries, I just mean it's more productive to work to give then to get. Seth Godin talks about the fact that followers can "sniff" out why someone is asking for their attention. They soon tire of following someone who is only looking out for number one.
In conversations with my son (just this past weekend), this generation is very weary of chasing the ever allusive dream of obtaining much, and of arrogant leadership. They can spot a false leader from a mile away. They want to follow someone who gives not takes for himself. They also reject religion. Now before you get worried about my son, don't, he knows Christ in a more authentic way they I do sometimes. He sees past the religious set of rules that past generations have established. It is difficult for me to get past "the rules" of religion at times, even in a contemporary setting. He quotes scripture, and presents very pure arguments toward a freedom in his faith, that I have seldom experienced. He challenges my false boundaries, my religious 'to do' list. And I'm beginning to see a great, confident leader emerging, it scares me and excites me all at once! The passion of youth makes me jealous!
So today I learned that to be a great leader discomfort is required (isn't that just great!), and that you will lose those you lead if a secret agenda exists. So lead confidently and transparently!