Nov 10, 2016

When you really need a leader

Sometimes even leaders really need leaders.

There are several levels of leaders, which is apparent in any organization. There's The Big Guy or Lady on Top, who leads a whole bunch of people, and there's the little guy or lady who has leadership potential, but only has a few folks around him or her who are following their lead. In between, there are various levels of folks who lead others, either directly or by being on a team with them, or just by being that person who people look up to.

Every one of those leaders needs a leader to follow. And when times are tough, in times of huge transition, and when they just feel totally at a loss--they need that leader to be there.

So, who is it? Who do they look to?

Sometimes, when they find themselves at a loss, a leader may look towards their past. Maybe they have a mom or a dad who was their first leader, and they're fortunate enough to still have that parent available to talk to. Maybe they look to history, because every tough situation has been encountered before--they may ask "How did my favorite leader from history respond?" Maybe this is always the first step: look to the past, get your bearings. Answer the question, "Where do I stand?"

Then, they look to the future. "Okay, I know where I came from--where do I go now?" For that, they need someone big, someone who has a vision for the future they themselves envision. Someone who can, either literally or figuratively, with words of encouragement, tell them how to get where we want to go, even when it seems impossible. When things have come unraveled, this person won't be a person above them in a chain of command. It also is not likely to be a person who they recently looked to for leadership, because that thinking is what led them to where they are now.

When a leader has found themselves at a loss, unraveled from what they held to be true, they need to look around hard for that new leader. Look until they find the right person to follow. And if you don't see that leader anywhere around you--if you don't see who you can follow into the future, then maybe that person is you. Be that leader. Be that person with the vision, with the hope, with the words of encouragement. If everyone is looking at you, be the person who can get them where they want to go.


Martha White said...

Where you lead, they will follow

Annie said...

Find the leader within, when one cannot be found. Very good medicine Laura. Thank you!

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