Leaders Come In All Flavors
I have recently had the opportunity to watch some really good leaders in action. They were all different kinds of people. They were different genders, ages, backgrounds and experience. The thing that I noticed that they had in common was that they didn’t give up. They were persistent.
They Don’t Give Up
One leader said, in the face of overwhelming frustration among his followers, “Let’s just muscle through this.” His followers were definitely ready to throw in the towel–they just couldn’t figure any other way. The task in front of them felt insurmountable. I watched as the group collectively shrugged–without much hope–but with a willingness to follow. The leader asked questions, got answers. Others asked questions, got answers. The energy of the group started to go up. Suggestions started to fly. These were countered by other suggestions. Solutions were identified. Action plans developed. Schedules. Commitments. The group left with a plan and energy and hope. And it started with a mere statement. “Let’s just muscle through it.”
Another leader coached members of a group on how to start again when their jobs had gone away. Her job had also gone away, but she was completely focused on helping the others to see the possibilities. As I watched, the leader and her coachees devised a plan to start a business. It was a brilliant idea and it bubbled out of the blended despair of the followers and the persistent support and hope of the leader.
Leaders provide hope.
They provide clarity. They provide direction, and pull more direction out of their followers. They don’t accept the status quo. Even when they can’t specifically see the way forward, they keep looking. They don’t let others give up either. They see that the solution might be just around the corner. They keep looking and keep pushing. If one direction is wrong, they turn and try another.
What about you?
Do you give up?