Monday, January 25, 2010

On Leaders and Leading


On LinkedIn, Houston-based leadership coach Patricia Jackson asked a deceptively simple question that has triggered a torrent of replies: "True leaders are..."

As I said to her in a side note, I like simple questions on LinkedIn (and elsewhere). Simple questions, asked simply. They bring out the best (and the most) replies.

My answer, also kept simple was: "...all around."

Here's what I meant by that.

True leaders are everywhere. And they are not what you would think.

They are the everyday leaders, the modest, unsung ordinary heroes who take the lead, step up to challenges, and get things done, without fanfare, headlines, fancy titles, or big salaries.

What's my definition of leadership? There are three parts:
1. Seeing what needs to be done
2. Mobilizing others
3. Taking action

A lesson I learned somewhere along the way is that there are Leaders (people with big offices and clout), there are leaders (people who take the lead and don't get much credit) and there is leadership development (a field I have worked in a long time where there are lots of fads).

What really makes the most difference, at the end of the day, is leading.

Posted By Terrence Seamon, Jan 25, 2010