The Purpose of Leaders
Remember, way back (OK, the beginning of the month), when we talked about not feeling “good enough” to be a leader? A very valid feeling and one we’ve all experienced. As we wrap up this month’s discussion on leadership, though, we hope we’ve at least torn away a few layers of stigma surrounding the idea of being in a leadership position.
Maryann Bruce, survivor of seven disasters including the plane landing on the Hudson River, broadened our discussion this month by providing us with eight characteristics every leader must master. With each disaster she survived, Maryann’s definition of what success and leadership looked like shifted. Her passion for elevating people to leadership was born from being a female leader often surrounded by male colleagues in the boardroom. Women in leadership positions is something that is becoming more of a norm, but there is still room for growth, and Maryann is dedicated to equipping any woman considering leadership the confidence she needs to take that scary leap.
Diane looked back on her career as a female leader and shared her list of traits and practices that not only make someone a good leader but one that people actually want to follow. Becoming a leader is just the beginning of your career shift. Leadership is an opportunity to leave behind a legacy, and it’s up to you to set the tone for that legacy. Diane’s insight provided many thought-provoking steps anyone in leadership (new or veteran) should consider taking to make sure their teams are being led in the best way.
Leadership is a daunting task. There’s no denying that. As a leader, you stop only being responsible for your career journey and adopt the journeys of everyone you lead. Scary! But also, what a privilege. To be able to play a part in carrying out God’s plan for someone’s life is just incredible to consider!
“Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory.” – Proverbs 11:14
Leaders are not meant to be dictators. Will they give orders and to-dos? Of course. But leaders – good leaders – are sculptors. Rather than charging forward with only their futures in mind, leaders who truly value those they lead will take the time to identify strengths in their colleagues and empower them to mould their talents.
Imagine a world without leaders who took genuine interest in not just the work performance of their teams but also their lives and who they were as individuals. There would be no growth, no desire to see industries advance. To succeed as a society, we need leaders who see their roles, no matter how big or small, as an opportunity to serve. Leadership can be prestigious, but that prestige should not become the focus. As a leader, your focus should be on building up your team, your company, and your legacy.
Leadership comes in many forms: boss, manager, CEO, CFO, mentor, sponsor, teacher, parent, friend. No matter what your title is, your mission is the same. Use your position to empower – not suppress – those you lead and be a positive and guiding light on their God-ordained paths.
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