I pulled out a note card the other day from a Successories Collection I have and it was titled Leadership. It said “Leadership is about capturing the imagination and the enthusiasm of your people with clearly defined goals that cut through the fog like a beacon in the night.”
Although to get the full affect, you have to visualize the picture of a stormy sea, with a lighthouse light piercing through the darkness to support the definition’s power. I have been working for 30+ years in corporate America, and friends I have seen very little of this leadership style in the flesh.
What I have witnessed too often are politically savvy people that know how to cut through anything in their path to success, and the security of their wealth. I’ve seen people that have more passion about their products than the people they have working for them, and for those that have a vision; they lack the will or ability to make it happen.
But just because I have seen more of the above style of leader than what my note card describes, does not mean they don’t exist. There are leaders who know where they are going and know how to lead others in the same direction. There are leaders who see their employees as the ticket to success or failure and do what is necessary to build them up and not tear them down. I have read about leaders that walk their talk before they even talk about it.
I have a short list of leaders that practice servant leadership, and are running ethical and upstanding organizations. I have witnessed a few that put people over short-term profits because they can see past tomorrow. But why with all of the books, programs, training, forums, coaches and companies that focus on building leaders do we have so few of them around?
I started to read a book the other day about where have all our leaders gone. The premise being that this country once had a lot of leaders that lead and didn’t play all these games played today. That somehow, we have evolved into a country that lacks leadership in every corner of society, government and the workplace. How sad if this is true. How deplorable if this generation is allowing it to happen.
However, I like to think that after every storm we can count on the sun rising on a new day. I would like to hold out hope that we have such people running companies in America, and I invite you to comment to this blog with your examples with their name, company and why they need to be recognized. They just have to be out there somewhere, so let’s go find them!