“I love helping leaders like you.”
“You’ve been included on a post entitled 55 leaders who in 2012 will RT and Forward your material.”
“I’d love for you to come speak to our group about leadership.”
“You’re the ED, it’s your call.”
These are a few of the statements I’ve heard in the last few days that leave me a little shocked and in awe. I just want to make sure these people aren’t mistaken. Were you really referring to me? Are they really talking about me? Remember, I’m the chick with Moses Syndrome?
I honestly hoped by now the real leader would have stepped up and I could go back to being the understudy. Seeing a need, recognizing something I wanted done, getting things rolling are not foreign concepts to me. I’m the big sister after all. It’s just at some point somebody usually steps in and says “I’ll take it from here,” and I can pass the baton off and start on another project.
Now I have crazy things happening like other organizations calling me wanting me to help them with their fundraising plans. Community leaders following my blog. Real leaders who I learn leadership from telling me I’m encouraging them. Did you follow that?
I’ve always said my spiritual gift is getting people to do things they wouldn’t normally do. It’s not really manipulation, it’s more motivation. However, a lesson I’ve learned is that motivation may actually be leadership.
I’ve learned over the past year to follow the lead of the people I’m trying to lead.
I can convince people it’s not a good idea to tell me “no” but that’s not leadership. I can convince people to do things they haven’t done before but because they haven’t done those tasks in the past they may not how to pace themselves. It’s possible I can lead them right into the ground. I can challenge them but it’s critical they set the pace and that I’m not cattle prodding them from behind.
I’ve learned that relationships, that real hand holding is critical in building up other leaders. I can see things in them that they can’t quite wrap their head around yet. I’ve learned face to face communication is imperative so I can read their eyes and faces when we talk about action items. I can see if they are overwhelmed or not understanding what I’m asking them to do or if they simply just don’t want to do it.
I can’t get so far ahead of them that they can’t see me.
I guess this is why I say I’m not a leader I just play on on tv. I may have the paper nameplate of Founder/Executive Director. I may have the sticker name badge of “Hi, My Name Is…” However, if I’m not humbly walking step by step with this team and making sure I’m building them up I’m going to end up just wandering around the desert by myself. I have to keep myself in check and make sure I haven’t convinced myself I can do something I didn’t think I could do before. I have to make sure I’m also walking step in step with the Guy who gave me the task to begin with.
I’m constantly on the search of learning from other leaders. Can you tell me what you’ve learned recently?