Your Leadership Journey
The essence of leadership is the acceptance of a journey.
That journey commences with our first job as we observe our first leaders, the professionals who are leading us and others.
How did they do it?
What were their strengths and weaknesses?
Did we learn how to lead well?
Or did we learn leadership lessons to avoid?
From every leader for whom we have ever worked, we had the ability to learn something.
Did we notice?
Did we observe?
Did we file those lessons away?
As we have moved through our careers, have we mindfully applied those lessons we learned in order to help others?
Have we paused at different junctures on our leadership journeys to take stock of our leadership lessons?
Have we written them down?
Have we made mental notes?
Have we journaled about our leadership paths?
Have we enjoyed 20 years of leadership experience or have we really experienced one year of leadership repeated 20 times?
To grasp the essence of leadership, we must initially agree upon the definition of leadership, its goals and its blessings. Leadership is a function in virtually every organization, done well, adequately or poorly.
It involves working with other people to achieve a vision that moves an organization forward. Most organizations strive to move forward toward the fulfillment of collective goals, goals understood and agreed with by the staff.
What are the blessings of leadership?
The blessings lie in:
the opportunity to mold other professionals,
to help shape their work habits,
to teach them skills and impart knowledge,
to show them through role modeling what great leadership looks like, and, best of all,
to help develop them into future leaders.
For at some point in our careers, we realize that an essential job of a leader is to develop other leaders. That is our obligation and our privilege.
Most people learn leadership through “on-the-job-training.” Leadership is too important to any profession to be treated as an afterthought.
Leadership must be prioritized at universities, graduate schools, in adult education and in agendas created by national membership organizations.