This semester, my MBA course is about leadership and organization development. I’m halfway through and it’s been interesting so far. I’ve been introduced to the concept of leadership more than 10 years ago, and I still don’t have a definition or something I can verbalize.
2 points have really struck out so far.
1) There are multiple leadership theories. In systemic leadership, which is the one this text focus on, there is no specific traits, skills, or style that makes a person a leader. There are characteristics, capabilities, and skills that enable us to be a leader if the situation calls for that skillset. It’s probably more accurate to say we all have moments of leadership.
2) Who we see as a leader is a mirror image of ourselves, the follower. We believe they would do what we do in certain circumstances but better than us, thus we cede our power to them. Each person has different values, so who we define as a leader would also differ.
Reflecting on this, I look at who I look up to, whose stories I find fascinating, the blogs I read, there is a common point. Driven. Grit. Point #2 is so true. I’m still struggling to stay organized and build habits to achieve goals, bring ideas and project to completion, deliver.
At the same time, I realized that I can’t be a leader to everyone or keep everyone happy. They resonate on something else. I may not have it. I can find strategies to work together, but I just have to accept I won’t be their hero.
Like the text suggest, and can be logically rationalized, all leaders will eventually fail us anyway. Leaders are only human, meaning they have imperfections also, just like the image they’re mirroring.
An enlightening but tough day.