Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Reflections on the Art of Leadership

Truly effective leaders don't live or work for themselves. They have much larger visions in view as they make decisions and allocate their available resources.

Leaders stand in the gap between and among conflicting points of view and opinions and they attempt to arbitrate, reconcile and bridge.

Leaders never give up hope or their calling.

Leaders continually give up their personal rights to achieve the larger ends of the group they compel and seek to influence.

Leaders point the way and take the first steps in the right direction themselves, but have a way of receding, of disappearing so that others may take credit or be advanced for the sake of the common mission.

Leaders challenge, mold, guide, negotiate, praise, critique, evaluate, listen, persuade and champion. . .but never for their own advancement or advantage.

Leaders lay down their days for the cause, the mission to which they gladly commit themselves.

Leaders expect to be interrogated, even vilified. They know that their motives will be questioned, that others will block and distort their efforts. Leaders understand that others will question their sanity, their intelligence and their strategies.

Leaders reject pettiness.

Leaders don't tolerate self-serving praise or individual promotion.

Leaders often bear the rage of others.

When necessary, leaders protect and shield those whom they lead.

Leaders allow for and even expect failure in those they serve and lead.

Leaders survive the gossip of opponents.

Leaders forgive.

Leaders seek justice, hope and the good.

Leaders convene.

Leaders praise others.

Leaders collaborate.

In times of victory, leaders pass the credit on.

In times of defeat, leaders accept the blame.

Leaders like nothing more than anonymity, retreat, and reclusive moments of quiet and reflection in isolation.

Leaders dwell in a place of personal, psychic security while serving those dominated at times by great insecurity.

Leaders embrace their limitations, their mortality.

Leaders understand the art of dying to self.

Leadership prepares a person for the ultimate passage of life.


Charles said...

Great description. Must be nice, Larry, to be this kind of leader to so many of us and to have the wordcraft to express it so elegantly.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like George Bush to me.

Anonymous said...

You think??? Doesn't seem to me to fit with much of the current policy.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the Amish children about whom we have learned so much over the past weeks. In the wake of the shooting that threatened their community, they led their families to a higher understanding of forgiveness and love.

Bush could learn much from them.

Jim Martin said...

A very good post Larry. Good reminders.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of President George Bush landing his jet on the carrier and announcing that the war is over and we won!