When I think of great leaders it is interesting that, for the most part, current day so-called leaders don't really come to mind.
From spiritual leaders to top political and corporate figures, we have witnessed some pretty big cracks in integrity and character lately that have me wondering...Is it time for a leadership makeover?
For some reason I have been sensing a shift of some kind when it comes to the way we lead as small business owners, and in other leadship roles for that matter. Connecting with staff, vendors, clients, and the community isn't about who has the best technology, the nicest car, or even the best idea. Leadership, or should I say a new way to lead, isn't about any of that and isn't about leading 100% with your head. Maybe what has been missing is a little more heart and soul and leaders who cares more about the spotlight being on his/her team and not about self-glory. Leaders who know that will make any leader truly shine is the guts to be "real".
I was sharing with my team yesterday that I believe the level of honesty seems to be taking a turn towards raw and real and connects us all on a deeper level. I felt it when I was watching what was being seen around the world yesterday when Ted Williams spoke about his drug addiction that ended his once blossoming radio career. He is getting a second chance to lead and inspire many. I hope he takes that responsibility to heart and has the potential of becoming a wonderful success story of leadership through the sharing of ones story without shame or blame. Just pure honesty. It was not only his "golden voice" but his willingness to share his story without all the fluff and smoke screens that captured the attention of millions of people. It is that connection created by owning up to our life's choices and path that everyone can relate to.
We all have a story, even leaders. We don't want to just hear about the logo. We want to know the person behind the logo, the dreamer and the doer, like Mark Zuckerberg. We want to see a face, and a hear the story, behind the business name. We want to connect, relate, and be excited for our leaders success as much as our own.
When we are honest and take off our leadership "mask", setting aside ego with an understanding that we are equally integral to the success of the team, that is when we empower others and truly lead.
How about a unique New Year's resolution? Let's have some fun with a leadersip style makeover and start off 2011 knowing that what makes a great leader great is when others can connect with you, believe in you, and relate to your honestly told and shamlessly shared story.