Blog Archive

Shift Your View of Leadership


Leadership can be defined in many ways. How we define leadership impacts our destiny, the future of our team, and the growth of our organizations. The best way to understand the different views of leadership is to ask others - "How do you see leadership?" Just as Rick Warren discusses, many of the responses to this question come in the form of metaphors. Leaders are coaches, mentors, and ATMs. Leadership is an obstacle course, a family, and a game.
How do you view leadership? What is your leadership metaphor? Whether consciously or subconsciously, this metaphor greatly influences our leadership. If we view leaders as ATMs, then our main focus will be making money. If we view leadership as a family, we will be focused on building and sustaining relationships.
Think about these next three metaphors as the foundation for purpose-driven leadership: Leadership is a test, leadership is a trust, and leadership is a temporary assignment. (Purpose Driven Life)
  • Leadership is a test. "Character is both developed and revealed by tests, and all of life is a test." As leaders, we are always being tested. Our team tests our patience, visionary skills, knowledge of the industry, and strategic planning abilities. Our boss tests how we handle feedback, determine goals, and react in times of chaos. When we think about leadership as a test, nothing is insignificant - everything is important to growth and character development. The great news is that our supporters want us to pass the test!
  • Leadership is a trust. Companies trust us with knowledge, resources, and talent. Unless you are a business owner, we don't really own anything and we definitely don't own people. We have been entrusted to manage and take care of those that we lead. If we are untrustworthy with our team and resources as a leader, why would anyone trust us with additional responsibilities in the future? "The more we are given, the more responsibility is expected."
  • Leadership is a temporary assignment. Our leadership assignments are rarely permanent. The world is changing too fast for one person to maintain personal and professional growth in one position. Our teams are not permanent, the company is not permanent ... things change. Don't get too attached to what is around you. We must learn, grow, and understand that, if we are purpose-driven leaders, we are always preparing for something better.
What do you think? What was your most recent leadership test? How does the notion that leadership is a temporary assignment change the way you lead?
Concepts, inspiration, and quotes from Day 5: Seeing Life from God's View and Day 6: Life is a Temporary Assignment, Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren
Photo: Creative Commons