When the Titanic hit an iceberg, and people drowned, ultimately, the Captain was held responsible. When a train crashes headlong into another, through no fault of its own, the Conductor is held responsible. When a school has a rogue student or coach that other kids have mentioned to their superiors, and nothing is done, the Principal is held responsible. It is the one at the helm of any organization that is held responsible, when things go wrong. The Leader often gets paid more than others to stand at the top…be an overseer…and granted there are perks, and position…but there is also a responsibility to try to make sure all goes well under their stewardship. That is called Leadership.
A true Leader wants things to go well…takes pride in what they set out to accomplish. They are not afraid to be present. They are not intimidated. They will sacrifice a vacation to tend to problems under their governance. They are passionate about their job. They can go off script to answer questions because they know the ins and outs of what they tower over. They have taken the time to learn everything they can about the ship, train, business, country, etc. that they run. It is their passion…it is their mission.
A true Leader doesn’t want shame to glare over their stewardship. They try to bring the best and the brightest together to get things done. They make folks in an organization feel that they are all working towards the same goal, even if they have differing opinions. A true Leader has the grace and finesse to make both sides feel they have won. The last thing a true Leader wants is to have warring factions under the same roof. Just like in a family, a true Leader is able to remind everyone that winning means there must be compromise.
In times of great turmoil, true Leadership is needed. Not Leaders who try to blame others for failures, nor Leaders who hide behind their past accolades. A true Leader realizes that today is more important than the past, and tomorrow is more important than today.
© 2011 Jennifer Avalon