You're always right, and you like to let people know.
You get to decide how things run, and when you do, it is going to be a golden rule. Because, at the end of the day, you own the gold and you rule.
You're bossy by nature, and you have the loudest voice in the room.
Oh yeah, this is how many people define leadership.
It's painful to watch as someone gets louder, more aggressive, and more detailed about what to do on a team. The truth is, everyone hates a boss like that and won't stick around under that type of leader for long. If the pay is sufficient, employees might put up with a demanding and stern manager for a while. No one will be happy, and eventually everyone will figure out that life is much richer without bossy people around.
Over the past few years, I've seen leaders at companies who operate under a totally different paradigm. There are many ways to lead--say, as a servant or someone who provides the best kind of work environment.
Yet, time and time again, at some of the best companies and organizations on the planet, the absolute best bosses don't really bother with some of the more accepted leadership styles. Soft management, leading by doing, the enabling boss. Almost everything you read about leadership would suggest that it is more complicated than it needs to be, an advanced and almost scientific approach that includes bits and pieces of other dogmas. Organizational leadership, leading by explaining--whatever you call it, keep in mind that these are techniques designed by leadership "gurus" who do consulting work on the side. Creating a complex ad even ornate system of leadership helps them pay the bills.
And then there's this simple definition: The best leaders are those who seek every opportunity to communicate and mentor others in an effort to clarify team objectives.
Read that a couple of times. It's simple and straightforward. It doesn't say anything about bossing people around, or "serving" by leading. Many of those definitions of leadership are trying too hard to make leadership a lofty ambition for those who don't understand the rudimentary nature of what it means to work in a normal job these days.
Let's break it down a bit.
First, leadership is about opportunity. It's about seeking ways to lead others in a way that helps them grow, about actively looking for the chance to explain and train so that everyone is unified. The best leaders want to make sure the entire team or the entire company is on the same page, pushing toward the same goals.
Second, the two keys to leadership are front-loaded in the definition. It means to communicate and to mentor. Don't let other variations of those two factors creep in. Leading is an act of service for sure, but when you start talking about the "doing" part too much you forget that it is about the relationship. Great leaders know how to communicate and mentor because that's really why the role exists in the first place.
Third, the definition talks about the effort to clarify. That's so important, because good leaders are always good communicators; they are constantly trying to energize others so they can do the work at hand. And great leaders say just the right amount of instruction and don't go on and on. They have empathy for others because they don't want to just relay information or hear themselves speak. It's not at all about being the loudest or most aggressive or most talkative. Those are the leaders are are mainly doing the job for their own ego and to build their own confidence level.
It's time to drop all of the complexity in leadership. The rallying cry for great leader is always--how can we all reach the same goals as efficiently as possible? How can one person become the unifier and the main communicator about what we're doing?
By any other definition, leadership is a bit false. It's self-serving,
Do you agree? Disagree? Feel free to drop me a note.