Prompt: What is Leadership?
nstead of pointing to a leader, outline a moment when someone you respect engaged in leadership. I was competing in an adventure race with my brother in law and we were in the part of the race that required compass skills. I believe I can manage my directions quite fine on my own, but he was more than competent at using a map, a compass, and finding out where we needed to go. It was a subtle thing but his confidence showed he was choosing to lead and get us to the points we needed to reach so we could complete the task. It is quite possible I could have done it on my own, but certainly not with the speed and efficiency of my brother in law.
Next, describe a moment when you chose to lead. How is it different from the rest of the time, when you are merely managing? Reflecting on my own leadership is difficult, mostly because I despise thinking or speaking about myself in anything but a pejorative manner. Within the last year I led a change in the way we do some business at work. I'm not sure it is working out for the better, but at the same time I think that is because I'm waiting to be told to lead, or that I have permission to lead, and instead I need to choose to lead and step up. There are hurdles in the way of leading a change and sometimes it is simply more comfortable to lean against them than to climb over... or under.
o you agree that leadership is a choice? Is leadership a choice? Yes. Leadership is stepping out against what is easy or comfortable and doing something different, hopefully with at least a few supporting facts in place. I think sometimes leadership can be thrust upon someone, but ultimately an individual then has to choose whether or not they will answer that call of leadership.
Leadership is about making change. A change that might not wor. If you do the work alone, you're an artist. If you get other people to do it with you, you're a leader. Going forward, then, what is the change you're trying to make? I don't know that I have a certain change I'd like to lead at the moment. I'd love to see more people care about the work that they do instead of simply showing up to check a box and collect a pay check. Caring for customers is so easy and so overlooked and it drives me nuts. Forward is hard too, I'd like to lead forward but moving takes effort, time, and money all of which are scarce. Perhaps a bigger thing on my heart right now is less hate and more discussion. It is too easy to be victim to media or knee-jerk opinions. People I respect, and those I don't, are all subject to making quick and harsh judgments (as am I) when a little patience would go immeasurably far. Arguments seem so binary that there is no common ground on which to build an understanding. I think I'd like to lead people to listen.