Leader is a term which over the years has evolved to, in some cases, replace such words as manager or supervisor. In its’ replacement, the associated behaviors of the manager, supervisor or even boss have remained attached to the label of leader. As a result, even though the gesture of using a term of leader is to be more welcoming it unfortunately retains the control level energy it was hopeful to reduce. At some level the frame of reference to leader associates a person to having leadership skills. This again may or may not be completely true.
Typically, people hear the word leader and immediately attach the concept of a person taking charge and leading a group of people in a particular direction to achieve some outcome. To a large degree this is the fundamental basis of a person being in the role of leading. Today, challenge this concept with a slightly different source of energy to achieve a positive outcome. Consider the idea of people following and in their own way taking charge of themselves to achieve an outcome. This is not to dilute the role of leader but to raise the others to a level of self-leadership first.
In order for there to be a leader there needs to be others which they lead. Maybe it is more effective and productive when we have people who aspire to follow the purpose of leadership rather than the person placed in the role of leader. The challenge is that people don’t like to admit they are following. They all want it to be their idea or way. This in turn leads to chaos amongst the people in the group. There is an old saying which captures the spirit of this idea. It indicates – everyone cannot be chief; some do need to be Indians. Oddly enough the indigenous people of this continent had/have a fuller understanding and appreciation for leadership than maybe our current society. The role of chief was not to be dictator or boss. It was a position of wisdom, insight, knowledge and in some cases strength as in a warrior. A typical tribe had various chiefs such as medicine chief, spiritual chief etc. This model is not significantly different than a business functional model. Each area of focus had a chief and collectively they coordinated what was best for the entire tribe.
In recent years the use of the word tribe has re-entered the business lexicon as a means to group common minded people into collective groups. Each of these so-called tribes has a person who focuses attention in or on a given outcome and thus leads the group in a particular direction. The people in the tribe follow along the direction as they associate to the tribe’s general purpose.
This week as you cultivate the growth of your business, look at how the tribes and leaders are performing their roles in achieving the best outcomes for the organization. Are the people in the groups being lead or are they following? Is the Core Purpose, Vision and Values being used as the guidance system to keep the path focused?
Looking to bring your team into a common purpose following the vision for 2023? Now is the time to engage a Promise Guide to assist in the process. Reach out to JKL Associates at MI (313) 527-7945 or FL (407) 984-7246