Leadership for Leaders
These are questions we were faced with during a leadership experience where leaders were given the task of leading! Do we lead by mandate? Does dictating work? Can we force others into submission? Does a leader just say the word and expect others to follow? Where does gaining trust and establishing relationships fit into the equation?Away from the challenges, we all sit and talk great things about leadership. We ponder the impact of our actions. We pose theories that seem to make perfect sense in our minds and even in speech, but then we have to actually lead! Then what happens? How do people persuade others and prompt them into action?
Lesson 1Success is not always the best teacher. Sometimes, in fact often, it seems we learn more from our mistakes and our failures. We glean the most effective methods, means or techniques for specific situations. For instance, when we continued doing what was working, we continued with our success. We tried something else and faced an even greater challenge. Then, we learned more about how our earlier successes had components of luck or fortune!
Lesson 2Another “take-away” from the experience came from watching leaders lead leaders. Every one of the participants was an obvious leader, each with their own characteristics, traits and methods that resulted in vast teams of talents, abilities and experiences. Noticeable by any casual or outside observer were the strengths and attributes brought by every person. Like a who’s who, each person’s presence influenced the dynamic of the entire project contributing insights, perspectives and understandings unique and cherished by the remaining team. This diversity and variety allowed teams to focus on goals, tasks and accomplishments while applying discernment and tolerance while working within the given parameters. Success became both the work and the togetherness! Working together! A true understanding of working with others was a favorite unforeseen outcome.
Lesson 3Those of us that struggle with something often times seem to have a better grasp of the learning process surrounding the concept. Someone naturally talented has to exert effort to understand another that needs extra effort to master the same skill. The ability to teach or share seems to rise out of the intimacy with struggles, battles and mastery. The trite exclamation “those that can, do and those that can’t, teach” ignores the experiences, motives and desires of the master teacher. It could proclaim, “those who can’t teach it, can only do it!”
Looking at only these three highlights leaves many other nuances left hidden with the actual participants. Many lessons, insights and applications to real jobs back home were learned in the crucible of challenge. These shallow descriptions are only rough bearings pointing in a casual direction. Remembering the night activities, directions, phantom rules, lake, sunsets, group activities, initiatives, sacrifice, meals, pain, expressions, journals, camp fire stories and even fun are personal, individual and intimate to only a few others laying a foundation for future adventures and deeper influences or wasted opportunity.