As we enter the new year, it is important for us to remind ourselves what leadership is all about.
Leadership is about making good things happen that on their own would not happen.
There is a clear moral dimension to leadership. Leaders must always ask the question as to whether what they are doing is “good”. Good for what? Good for whom?
But just as critical is the behaviour and attitudes of leaders as they go about making good things happen. Do they treat their people like robots or toy soldiers that they can push around or threat into action? Or do they treat their leadership of people as an honour and a privilege to be able to better their lives?
It is important for leaders to ask themselves the question: “Do we as leaders see ourselves as teachers?”
The role of a teacher is to do the best he or she can to help each student be the best he or she can be. If the student should reach a higher level than the teacher later in life, this is to the credit of the teacher. Indeed, the more the students exceeds the teacher, the more the teacher has succeeded!
Such a perspective is totally different from what many managers and supervisors espouse. Many of leaders see their people simply as tools to be pushed around, and people who should be kept in their places. The idea of helping their people grow and succeed the best way they can, is totally foreign.
Yet, history has shown that the best leaders are those who have the heart of the teacher who wish their people to succeed the best way they can.
We are starting a new year. As always, the start of a new year is a new opportunity to do the things we have failed to do, and become the kind of person we want to be.
As the management guru, Peter Drucker mentioned in the foreword of The Leader of the Future: “The only definition of a Leader is someone who has (willing) followers”
Hence, for all who are SUPERvisors or MANagers at work – the SUPERMANs – let us strive to be the leaders who attract followers because we are worth following.
We are worth following when we are excellent in our work, and we have the heart to help our people be the best they can be. In doing so, we become the “THE LEADER, THE TEACHER”.
Our best wishes to you and your family for 2016! May it be a year where you reap much happiness and good health, and may you find satisfaction and fulfilment in your many undertakings!