Leadership Illuminates

One of the many discoveries a leader makes as he or she steps into a designated role of service is that there are fewer places to hide in. Leadership is like harsh lighting, revealing exactly who you are- your beauty right along with your flaws and blemishes. 

In all that illuminating, one of the things that is revealed is your own belief system- that which is guiding you, which you are following. In the midst of your leadership, it is right there on display for your viewing and for others to view. 

On many occasions, and for many of us, this is a process of discovery. We learn what we are following based upon our reaction to circumstances. For example, if I become irritated to the point of discouragement (which is different than feeling compelled by a sense of urgency) by delayed results I am learning that I am following a belief that my static timeline is the ultimate measure of success. What am I being led by in this scenario? Almost every answer I could think of starts with "my... (fill in the blank)" And if I am at the center of my leadership motivation, I miss the point of servant leadership. 

Consider now an alternate response to the same scenario. Instead of discouragement, my response is that of curiosity, evaluation, compassion, and re-casting and re-honing of vision. I look at those I am leading and envision how we might press on towards primary, secondary, and tertiary goals. What am I being led by in this scenario? Almost every answer begins with "their, our, His, her... (fill in the blank)." This is outward facing, servant leadership.

How has leadership illuminated your motivations and beliefs? What have you learned about whom or what you are following through leadership opportunities?