I have a tendency to save articles, handouts, and other pieces of paper that contain information I find interesting. When I don’t have an immediate use for them or need more time to read them, I have a “place” (translate “pile”) where I stack them for reference.
This weekend I devoted some time to going through my accumulation of interesting papers, and I ran across the following list. I don’t remember where this list came from or I would gladly give credit to the author or source. These are not the standard leadership qualities we have come to expect.
Eight Things Those You Are Privileged to Lead Have a Right to Expect From You:
1. To know your character. If I follow you, will I know who you really are? Will you deal with me with integrity?
2. That you’ll take time to explain your vision. What’s the future and where do I fit? Is there a place for me or will you simply “use” me?
3. To never be left in isolation. Will you be there for me? Will you care for me? Will you care about my needs?
4. To be heard. To whom will you listen? When you’re busy and overloaded, will I still be heard, taken seriously, and appreciated?
5. To be trusted. Can I take initiative without fear? Will my ideas be rewarded and encouraged or will I be regarded with suspicion and distanced?
6. To be given an opportunity to grow. Will I be encouraged to be a lifelong learner? Will my gifts be increasingly identified and expressed? Will I be developed?
7. To be held accountable. Will I be fairly evaluated for my performance? Will I be held to the highest standards for my life? Will you show me how to do it better and be patient while I learn and self-correct?
8. To be the object of grace. Will I be forgiven even in the face of shortcomings, inadequacies, and failure? Will I be lead with kindness?
When I read the list, my first thought was that unless we live in isolation from all living beings, we are all leaders in some way at one time or another. As parents, we lead. As pet owners, we provide leadership. As environmentalists, as stewards of our planet and of other living creatures, we lead. The same is true in marriage, in friendships, in social situations. Often we follow, but on occasion we lead. And I found myself convicted that I do not always lead to the best of my ability.
I consider this list to be a challenge, and I hope that over time my leadership abilities will improve. What about you? Who are your followers? Under what circumstances do you lead? And are you the leader you can and should be? I look forward to supporting each other in becoming better leaders in 2015!