Effective Leadership


Leadership, where is it? I don’t mean there isn’t enough of it, though that is likely true, I mean
where, physically, does the leader take up position? Is the leader out front, ahead and all others
are behind, following, as they say? What happens to the effectiveness of the leader when they
position themselves beside? What comes to mind when you imagine the leader above or behind
or, hmmm, in the midst?

I like the wisdom of lead, follow or get out of the way. Has helped me many times. Yet, it seems
to say that the leader does not follow nor get out of the way. In my experience a really good
leader knows how to be a really good follower, and has been, or is, somewhere in life, maybe in
their community work, right now. A really good leader knows when to get out of the way, to
pick their causes and leave the rest alone.

What is the aura and personality of my ideal leader? I want strong, mostly sure, yet humble
enough to be honest about what they don’t have covered. I want to feel at least a little bit inspired
and more is better. I need to believe that the leader knows where they are leading me to and that
they are prepared or honest enough to say they don’t fully know. Honest transparency is more
valuable than false bravado.

The Leader does best to know something very well, something I can rely on them for. This
seems so in academia and business, someone to go to for guidance. This does not seem to always
be the case, for instance, in sports teams. The Captain is to be an example of dedication to the
team and excellence at their contribution to the team. OK, I now see that it could be the same
here too, just some may not have both.

Leadership is to give of self, make tough decisions, take the heat when others disagree and
remain steadfast in showing the way, inviting us to follow and remain loyal. Leadership is
responsibility. One cost can be that, yes, it is lonely at the top. Sometimes that is what the Leader
needs, to be left to make those decisions and to learn and grow from the result. Mostly though,
they need our support.

Joseph Seiler

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