Thoughts on Leadership
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” ― William Arthur Ward
Leadership is a lot like being a teacher; strong leaders stand in front of the class guiding their “students” through various aspects of life.
As William Arthur Ward put it, mediocre teachers tell students what to do. Better teachers explain. Superior teachers demonstrate through their own understandings and actions. But the best teachers inspire.
The best teachers, like those that taught my childhood math and physics classes, excite you and motivate you to want to learn more, which in turn makes their job — transferring their knowledge on a subject matter to you — that much easier.
The more time I’ve spent in corporate America working with others, the more I’ve learned that’s what leadership is all about — inspiring those around you. Except, instead of motivating people to want to learn more, leaders in the workplace inspire others to be their best and do their best in each of their specific roles.
No matter where you are really, leadership is all about inspiring others.
What else is leadership about? Well, I’ve got a few thoughts on the matter…
- Being a leader is NOT about sitting in UFC ringside seats yelling at your teammates to win the fight. It’s about being in the arena with them and taking the same punches and spinning kicks they are.
- If you have to tell people you’re a leader, you’re not a leader.
- Anger is easy. Compassion is harder. Compassion builds better relationships.
- Leaders lift others up. Losers put others down.
- Arrogance and leadership don’t mix well.
- Leaders focus on solutions rather than dwell on problems (or playing the ‘blame game’).
- Leaders ask questions and seek help.
- Leaders don’t care about titles, because they know leaders exist in all aspects of life; and that some janitors are better leaders than some executives
- Leadership is about being your best and to inspire others to be their best
- Do something a leader would do.
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