Confessions of a Leader
Over the years, I have often found myself in leadership positions. I would love to tell you that I was born with a natural ability to lead, that leadership was my superpower. In my youth, I think I actually believed this about myself. However, as I matured, I realized I possessed no such thing.
The leadership positions I found myself holding were more about my own ambition to rule the world than about my ability to lead. I had no idea how to really lead. No one in their right mind should have let me lead a herd of cats, let alone humans. But I did. And eventually I was exposed. My style was more Mussolini than Lincoln. I gained authority and then used my power to manipulate outcomes. Not all of it was bad. The result was typically positive. It was how I went about achieving outcomes that needed help.
I thought leadership was about doing whatever necessary to produce the desired outcome. A lot of people fell victim to my insatiable drive to win at whatever game I was playing. I used people and things to bring about what I deemed important. This wasn’t leadership. It was something else. As I matured, I learned that leadership is about people, not about using people to get what I want.
Loving people. Sacrificing for people. Developing people. Caring for people. A leader doesn’t lead projects or events. A leader leads people in the context of projects and events. Don’t be like younger Jason. Learn from my mistakes. No matter what, always be people focused. When I became more concerned with the flourishing of others, I finally tasted true flourishing myself.Comments