“Low-down -dirty- good for nuthin…”
I still remember the first time I heard my Grandfather
deliver his ultimate displeasure with another human being. It was his considered opinion that you could
be “good at” something and still be “good for nothing.” As he saw it there were people who were darn
fine farmers, welders, mechanics, truck drivers, hunters, and so on, but if
your positive-character flag wasn’t flying high, he’d keep his distance.
When it comes right down to it, leadership is influence.
Yes, most organizations hold high the tangible metric “results” of the
system/process/push and pull, but when it comes to people, the influencers at
every level are the true leaders.
For generations there have been debates about the concise definition
of leadership. The truth is, it depends. Leadership definitions are dependent
on the team, situation, fate, timing, and most certainly upon the width or
height of your travails. Additionally, it depends if you are speaking of
leadership in the arena of business, military, science, religion or politics. And,
it depends on whether you’re seeking a descriptor of leaders who are edgy or
plain-Jane, powerful or powerless, figureheads or headless figures.
You can spend a lifetime learning a skill(s) that will earn
you more money, and that is notable. You can spend a minute or two on a dark path
and ruin a lifetime of goodwill, and that too is notable. In the midst of those
who view the world as clear-cut, black or white, good or evil – there exists
some grey areas.
In this blurry arena of grey is where true leaders dwell. There
are realities that challenge best-hatched plans, self control, vision and
values; situations where you face hard choices, tough luck and tough decisions.
In these circumstances it is better to be good
at something and good for something, as it has been shown time and
again that working for the greater good is the most sustaining, gratifying, and
dare we say, fulfilling. Perhaps simply it is best described as the “greater of
the goods.” During your next leadership performance assessment (on yourself or
others), stop for a moment and ponder – @ and 4 -are you and your team working
hard at being both?
It is and has always been the right leadership flag to fly.