One of the issues that concerns me in writing this blog, speaking at events both small and large, and attempting to actively participating in the larger "leadership discussion" is that somehow I end up getting in the way of the message. It's a delicate balancing act for those of us that are not afraid to challenge each other, and ourselves in our professional practice. Perhaps there are some basic tenets that can be focused on as I move forward to help guard against getting too full of myself. (Read here => tall order.)
Participation as a Responsibility
Part of my struggle is that I firmly believe any real leader should be required to actively participate in making themselves, their profession and their organization stronger. That won't happen if you sit in your office with your lame open door policy waiting for your staff to come by and kiss your managerial ring. Participation means speaking out, taking risks, making mistakes and going forward in spite of your failings.
Another Side of Leadership
Beyond the public recognition of the leadership contribution should come a more discreet counterpoint. The work that gets done behind the scenes should also take as much of a priority as the flashy presentation that gets splashed all over the trendiest web sites and blogs. How much leadership do you provide that only a precious few people, perhaps only one person at times, actually notices? That doesn't seem to be worth the investment, does it? But it does to that one person whose life you just impacted. Big time.
"Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can."
— John Wesley
How About You
Check your calendar...it's full. Check your task list...it's full too. Now check the mirror. Still too busy to provide leadership that won't end up on the backchannel?
I'd love to hear from you.
pic courtesy of oxfordswfproject