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“Take me to your leader”

August 8, 2023

A phrase often referring to the ‘aliens’ asking to be taken to someone in authority. Who are our leaders today that we could send an ‘alien’ to? Who are the decision makers, the movers and shakers, the ‘leaders’ of our world?

I am back in school working on my MA in Strategic and Organizational Leadership and one of our readings is from Kouzes and Posner, The Leadership Challenge. According to them a good leader is someone who: 1. Models the way, 2. Inspires a shared vision, 3. Challenges the process, 4. Enables others to act, 5. Encourages the heart.

Who are the real leaders around you? Here are a few examples of not living out those values: A person who takes a private jet to a climate control event across the world. A person who comes in with an agenda and has no intention to get buy-in from people outside their immediate sphere of influence. A person who does not want to change because ‘we have always done it this way.’ A person who does not care who joins her on the journey, who wants to get all the glory for themselves. A person who sucks the life out of partners and co-workers but never gives credit where it is due.

I think we all know people whose title might make them a leader but whose life does not reflect the values it takes to be one.

I love this quote: ”If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader." John Quincy Adams

Looking at that we have a major leadership vacuum at this time. So many of our leaders today are about control, self preservation, fame, and money. Their initial visions of change for the people has been lost in the politics of the day. Their campaign promises pushed to the side for another term, or another speaking opportunity.

If you want to see the leaders of our communities you need to know your community. The grandma, who feeds the neighborhood of kids and teaches them about generosity and sharing. The business owner who makes a sacrifice of his own salary to ensure his staff is paid. The teacher who spent her lunch hour speaking with a youth. The person who cleans up the garbage when nobody is looking. The group of people who care deeply for the homeless. These are our leaders who through their actions model the way, inspire us be be better, look for innovation, provide opportunities for others to act, and encourage the hearts of people.

Anything less is just well, alien!

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