Monday, February 21, 2011

Put a little more you into your leadership role at work...

Being open to all writers and their styles there’s always going to be a quote that forces me off this busy highway because laughing too hard has flooded my eyes with unstoppable tears of connectedness.

Seth Godin prints out, “Should they build a statue of you? How much ego is involved in being a leader?”

If this was a ten second intro of a great Bon Jovi song I’d end the blog there!

Due to the structure of the economy, in the past five years American businesses have been introduced to several different styles of leadership; good, bad, friendly, lost, completely untouchable and some absolutely unexplainable. I’d love to see the numbers that determine how many employees truly believe in the makers of their biweekly paycheck.

Should they build a statue of you? How much ego is involved in being a leader?

I can only think of three radio people in my 32 years in the biz that have earned the right to be dipped in bronze then set out in the sun to continue educating their morals to the generations they’ll never meet. This isn’t to say other’s who’ve tried aren’t worthy. Today’s market doesn’t require a natural born leader to succeed; it chooses instead to put unheard of time limits on single attempts which does nothing but dirties up the soil with dried up seed shells that could’ve been but without proper fertilization the end result is a dream cemetery.

Author Seth Godin is firm in his way when trying to explain true leaders lead. It’s about relationship and the openness of allowing there to be.

When I was asked to lead a production department in Norfolk in 2005 my first goal was to initiate the idea of never being what I had before me. Utilizing the basics taught by Julia Cameron in The Artist Way at Work, the first rule to follow was to include everybody for who and what they are and not what I wanted to make them. I dubbed it The Beatles; four completely different people that clearly had the talent to be solo artists but as a single unit their harmonies have lasted over fifty years. Now toss in a fifth member Billy Preston and George Martin whose final results would catapult a simple sound into spectacular new beginnings.

Godin explains, “Great leaders are able to reflect the light onto their teams. Great leaders don’t want attention; they use it as a way of uniting, helping to reinforce its sense of purpose.”

He uses the example of Fidel Castro’s seven hour speeches being mandatory; it robbed from the desire to participate. When CEO’s and Department Heads take on the same shape—they aren’t leading they’re taking.

I’ve broke bread with more entrepreneurs who left corporate circles not because of failure but over saturated amounts of upper level decisions makers trying to be what they couldn’t master while climbing the company ladder. Once certain positions are met the next step is always to look over your shoulder and quickly defeat the strongest person fully capable of making much larger waves than what was required for you to hoist a leadership flag. The only war most companies know is how to start a friendly battle between coworkers totally taking their game plan off the competition.

Should they build a statue of you? How much ego is involved in being a leader?

Before you answer that question pull off what Andrew Ashwood shoved deep into the budding souls of his hand built foundation, “Before anyone can lead you have to understand what’s being asked of you. That requires communication with your weakest team player not just today but everyday until they’ve accessed the knowledge to lead their own team. If you truly want to make it to the Hall of Fame ask yourself constantly what you’re doing in the way of influencing the people that’ll help you pick up the ball when it’s been bounced one too many times and this time it’s rolled under a greasy car. Which player will risk getting dirty out of passion rather than an order to keep you looking clean and brand new?”

If you can’t match those expectations you’ll never be anything more than a wanna-be with a lot of power to make a lot of dreams go silent. Welcome to the new America!

The moral of today’s story…no matter where you stand in line at work you’ve always got my permission to lead.

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