For the whole weekend, I have been chewing over a powerful quote I came across by Lolly Daskal which said “Be the type of leader you want to meet.”
On Friday afternoon, I had a conversation with one young man who was disappointed in the leadership of various organizations that he has worked with, or done work for. These were leaders who would not keep their word, leaders who were short changing him, leaders who did no seem to be strategic in the way they applied themselves and the resources at their disposal.
It’s so easy to get frustrated with and complain about leaders because we deal with them every day all the time.
That conversation, coupled with the quote, got me thinking about what type of leader I want to meet and here is my short list in no particular order:
- I want to meet a leader who respects time – both their own and others. I want to meet the type of leader who keeps time no matter what, who is not full of lame excuses about why they cannot manage time.
- I want to meet the kind of leader who cares deeply about people, who empathizes with people, who has a heart and leads from the heart. Another quote that has stuck with me over the years is one by John C Maxwell, a leadership guru, who said “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
- I want to meet the kind of leader who is true to his word, whose word counts for something, who sticks to what he says and does not change his mind and his word for the sake of personal expedience. I want to meet the kind of leader whose word I can trust.
- I want to meet the kind of leader who is not afraid to share his power, who delegates correctly, who assembles the right team to get the right job done, who empowers others to lead too, and does not think that leadership starts and ends with him.
- I want to meet the kind of leader who has a goal and purpose for their leadership, and who has made that goal clear. I want to meet the kind of leader whose road map is sure, whose direction is clear.
- I want to meet the kind of leader who is aware of and works at building institutions and systems, who understands that systems and institutions are important because they are the scaffolding that hold organizations together, they give the organization certainty, they help the organization stand the test of time, they help organization grow stronger.
- I want to meet the kind of leader who is humble, who knows when to say sorry, who knows that he too is human and makes mistakes, who learns from his mistakes and grows.
- I want to meet the kind of leader who knows when it’s time to let go and let others lead. I want to meet a leader who helps his organization work through transition, who prepares for succession, so that when he or she leaves, the whole organization does not collapse.
Now, I need to look at myself and ask myself whether or not I have all these qualities, and if not, how I can improve my own leadership.
I have to ask myself whether I am the kind of leader I would want to meet.