A challenge to all who lead

by Rod Smith

1. What do you believe about leadership? Have you written about what you believe to the point that you could articulate it at a moment’s notice?

2. Do you stop and think (reconsider, reflect) about your leadership style, your philosophy of leadership, or are your caught in the treadmill of activity that offers you no time to reflect?

3. Do you take time to acknowledge that everything you do is related to all who have come before you? Do you acknowledge that your success is not yours alone – there are no “self-made” individuals – but it is achieved against a backdrop of what others have done both for you and before you?

5. Do you acknowledge that your service and pursuits today, when done with excellence, will become part of an essential backdrop to further empower those who follow you?

A true leader can do nothing of enduring value without his or her community, without taking time to learn from others, without allowing time to uncover the true strength found in a shared spirit of discovery, respect, and humility.

True leaders facilitate the building organizations like schools, synagogues, churches, and businesses, that enable all its members to glimpse the future, to aspire to the greatness continually being born and nurtured among them, and the potential residing uniquely within each.

2 Comments to “A challenge to all who lead”

  1. Rod – I have worked for and with leaders of varying degrees of success. I have a long-standing interest in the philosophy of leadership and offer an excerpt from my take on the topic:

    “Who is our CEO and what does he or she do? is a key question for an organization to ask itself. The answer contains its longevity.

    “When the activities of 160 top-level executives worldwide were analyzed, researchers anticipated an equal number of leadership approaches. Surprisingly only five emerged: strategy, people, expertise, controls, and change. Strategists spent most of their time on the external, such as competition and market trends, while the human-assets group focused on employee development. The third group strove to maintain their competitive edge in an area of expertise while the fourth group took the “box approach,” keeping an eye out for exceptions to performance. The last group dedicated to growth worked vigorously reinventing their businesses.

    “Neither approach is better than another although what works for one company may not work for another. True leadership is not a function of personality but of the needs of an organization. A living, breathing organism, it is fed and exercised by a CEO whose values undergird his effectiveness. If he values service, he will serve his organization; if he values change, he will change it. When his values are employed for the good of an organization, he is less a busy CEO than a leader.”

  2. Rod,
    This is a very important reminder to all of us. We must take the time to reflect and learn from ourselves and others. True leadership is something that we must work towards.

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