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Leadership – An Inside Job

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Leadership is not a trumpet call to self-importance – it is an opportunity to serve.”   Mel Wallace

About a year ago I was approached by a business owner asking me for assistance in professionalizing his middle managers.  They had gone through a merger and the owner was ready to let go of responsibility, however, he knew his managers were not where they needed to be in understanding the real meaning of leadership.

Real leadership is when a person, no matter the title, level, or position, empowers self and co-workers to bring their gifts, talents, and skills, to the organization, in order to build the vision and mission of the organization.  Real leadership is not about the position or the title it is about empowerment.  My client / owner knew he wanted his middle managers to be empowered to lead the company into the future, with or without him being present on a daily basis.

The company’s mission is based on the creativity of the employee group to manufacture equipment that is unique and customized to the customer’s needs.  Real leadership fosters an environment of creativity because it recognizes the uniqueness of the individuals and empowers them to bring their uniqueness to solving the issues for the customer.

Over this last year, CFC has provided training and coaching services to the middle managers group in understanding and integrating the value of real leadership and the differences between leadership and management.  Both leadership and management are needed, but are very different.  Look for a future blog post on the differences between the two, but for today I want to leave you with a few insights into how you can become a leader in your life and empower yourself and others to bring their gifts to the Universe.

  1. Have you fully taken ownership of the mission and vision of the organization you serve?
  2. Is your career/position/job a vehicle for you to bring your giftedness to the world?
  3. If the answer to the above is no, how much of yourself have you compromised to have the position?
  4. If your co-workers or those you supervise gave you an evaluation what would it look like?
  5. Do you consider yourself a leader or a manager?

I leave you with a quote from Pope John Paul II to ponder, “How ever true it may be that the human person is destined for work and called to it, in the first place work is “for persons” and not “persons for work”.  Real leadership uses the work as a vehicle to bring out the best in the person.

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