What It Means to Be a Leader

There is more skill in inspiring those who follow you to rise to their own greatness than to dictate what they can do to follow in your footsteps.

The true definition of a leader is to build others up, not tear them down.

So why is it that our natural instinct is to jump on another, to tell them what they’ve done wrong, to demonstrate how to do things right?

We are so immersed in the ego that we automatically jump to the I’m right¬†reflex. How did this come to be? Is it self-defense? Is it self-protection? Do we really think we know it all?

And so, when parenting, when managing employees, when directing programs at work or creating campaigns for clients, there is wisdom in standing forthright when we have knowledge to share, but stepping aside in deference to another when a particular detail really doesn’t matter.

Today, I had a conversation with my son about how one of life’s greatest challenges is to master the art of interpersonal relations. Understanding that another is a mirror reflecting our own limitations is one lesson most people never quite absorb. Many never even have a clue that it’s the truth.

At 41, I am still struggling with the nuances of interacting with others. Believe me, I’ve made great strides from my younger years – but the gut instinct reflex is so quick, it often gets ahead of me in ways that I’d rather it just sat silent in a corner.

How wonderful would it be if we could arm our children with the knowledge of the right path, the wisdom to walk it and the confidence to not need affirmation of everyone telling them they’re right?

Alas. Parenting is mere mirroring, role modeling, hoping to set a great example. Leading by inspiring others to greatness. Stepping aside to let them get there.

Connect with Lynne

Register for The Writers Community