Monday, November 07, 2005


What does being a leader mean to you?

I have been giving this topic much thought as of late. Is a leader someone you would like to emulate, a role model of sorts? Is a leader someone who is feared? Is a leader born or taught?

What kind of leader would you follow?


Her Daddy's Eyes said...

Oh no...this is a hard one for me...I'm going to have to think about this. See, that's one of the things I like about you...ya make me think!

Lushy said...

Someone who leads by example...if I'm going to follow someone, I want to know that they deserve me following them, believe and live what they say and aren't just spewing total BS.

bob said...

one of the best bosses i ever had described himself by saying, "i don't manage, i lead." what he meant was that he provided direction, he kept us on course, he made sure we never lost sight of the larger objective and our own integrity. he didn't manage us, didn't tell us what to do or how to do it. he trusted us to use our own strengths and skills to get our job done. he just made sure we all knew why we were doing it. to me, that's leadership.

Miss Bliss said...

I too prefer a leader who walks their talk, otherwise you just end up feeling betrayed. In truth I don't think quality leadership is all that complicated. What's difficult is dealing with not pleasing everyone and not being seduced by power. As exemplified by the current Administration of this country right now...power corrupts and turns your heart and soul into nothing but a burned and blackened powder that is blown to the ends of the earth by the winds of Justice. Um...sorry got distracted there.

Wombat & Aspen said...

Leadership is the art of attaining stated goals by extracting the best performance from whatever assets one has at hand. 'Assets' include those who breathe, too, of course.

By definition, there are an infinite number of ways to lead, given the huge number of variables (assets, goals) and the combinations thereof.

Great leaders therefore have the ability to modify their behaviour to suit the folks whom they lead. Flexibility with clarity.

Personally, I like the idea of "leading from behind", meaning allowing one's team the freedom to control as much of the process as possible, whilst keeping them on track if they look wobbly.


Mrs. Ca said...

To me, a leader is someone who I respect, who inspires me, and for whom I will do work. If a person can't inspire me to do what is needed, I don't consider them a leader.

sue said...

Oh. I'm not good at this. Only child syndrome. I don't like to lead or follow. I like to do my own thing.

Is this a trick question? I mean... of COURSE I'd follow YOU...:)

GiddyGirlie said...

is this a job interview?? because if it is, you should know that I prefer the late shift and spend a goodly amount of time checking personal email.

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Moonchild said...

I am a good leader. And I am never ever a follower. I am who I am and I don't like to follow many rules.

Melissa said...

Leading is a lot more than inspiring others. It's knowing where you need to go, the steps required to get you there and then marshalling the talent and resources at your disposal to make that happen. It's a hell of a lot of work, especially whem some of those mouth breathers would rather not do their share.

People are born leaders.

Kris said...

To me, a leader is someone whose beliefs and decisions I can respect. Regardless of "rank", these individuals are true leaders.

Anonymous said...

respect is earned.

you can demand it all you want but in the end, if you don't earn it, you're not going to get it.

oh, and for clarification purposes, without being TOO verbose, respect is rarely earned in your leather undies.

- jules

Mo-Pie said...

I feel a leader is not taught, but is learned... I feel a leader is someone who can take control of the situation... someone who is not only feared, but adored... A leader is not just the coach of a team, but is also a player on that team. If we were going into battle I would want my leader to lead me, not just watch from the side. A leader should not be afraid to be followed.

I would follow you, if that's what you’re asking...

Bill said...

I'm not good with the leadership thing because, as with Sue, leading or following aren't my strong suits. I work best independently, and that has characterized most of the jobs I've had.

Having said that, I think a leader has to have vision and he or she has to have a sense of responsibility, as others have indicated. (First rule of leadership: everything is your fault. If you can't live with that, find another job. May not be fair, but it's the job description.)

Leading by example is a huge part of it - maybe the only part that matters. I see too many people in leadership roles recite pep-type talks they've learned in seminars but don't live what they are speaking. You are what you do, not what you say. And don't be afraid to say, "I was wrong. I screwed up. Let's fix this."

I think a person may be more effective by not being perfect. But too many people think they have to be, and when something does go sideways rather than admitting it and trying to correct it, they try to pretend it didn't happen or, it did but had nothing to do with them.

I've much more respect, and a much greater desire to work for, someone who isn't afraid to say, "Well, I certainly fucked that up."

I think adept, competent people aren't afraid to say that.

Vision, as mentioned, is the other thing. If you are leading, you must be taking us somewhere. Well, where is that? If you don't know, we certainly won't. And if the goal is not worth attaining, why are we aiming for it?

A leader needs to be able to answer these questions.

You know, it occurs to me as I type this that, while it's not a word you hear often (if at all) in the work place these days, leadership is essentially a moral role. But I don't think the world, generally, likes to talk that way. :-)

Mavida Lesbiana said...

definitely someone who leads by example - Do what you say, and I'll respect you!

Her Daddy's Eyes said...

Ok, I'm back...

After much thought, here's what I've come up with.

To me, being a leader means that one is in charge. I'll use life as an example...If I'm a leader of my life, then I'm in charge and not someone else. I make the decisions and the choices. Being the leader in life is difficult because many people are unable to be free of the whispers they hear from behind them.

I think in this instance that being a leader is taught (or learned). One has to be able to block out the whispers and keep marching forward to the beat deep inside. Again, a most difficult task because there are often so many voices that it is hard to hear your personal music.

What kind of leader would I follow? Ummm...that's tough. I'd like to say I'd follow the leader within me. I aspire to be able to do that!

Thank you for making me think about this. I feel a sparkle inside!


Star Effer said...

the best leaders are those that act more than they speak, and when they do speak it's pithy and sage and stirring. they don't seek power, but rather feel burdened by it. it's not about ego for them, it's about a calling. they don't see their 'flock' as sheep, and respect them as free-thinkers and individualists. they're never afraid to make hard choices because they always keep the big picture (higher good) in mind - the big picture keeps them grounded and honest. and last but not least, they should always be willing to take responsibility for their mistakes and face the consequences, rather than scapegoating one of their subordinates.

some are born. some are molded by circumstance.