Thursday, July 27, 2017

Leadership at Two Levels


Guest post by Mark Miller:

Leadership is a fascinating quality. There are countless articles, studies and opinions about what makes good leadership. But, no matter *how* you develop and act out your own leadership qualities, there will always be two sides: A private, individualistic view, and the view the public and your team sees.
Both are vital.

Let’s take a look at leadership on two levels: leading yourself and your team.
Mastering the Moments

Self-leadership may begin as a private matter, but it quickly moves to public view, and is evident in moments as clear as the shallows in a placid lake.
When you see it, you marvel – someone creating music no words can describe; a master craftsman doing with ease what mere mortals could never do; or a leader, intuitively uttering the right words with perfect timing.

Character, although difficult to discern from a distance, always reveals itself up close.
If you look carefully, you can often catch glimpses of a leader’s character on full display. It is in those moments we are both inspired and challenged to raise our own game.

When we see the highest form of leadership in action, we are filled with the promise of our own potential to become a servant leader. Is there anything more amazing to witness?
These marks of the servant leader are not the domain of superheroes. However, when we witness them their effect may closely resemble super powers.

These are the moments every leader must strive to master…

·    We want to seek wisdom when the world has decided a sound bite will do.

·    We want the audacity to expect the best in the most difficult of circumstances.

·    We want the ability to accept responsibility rather than blame others.

·    We long to do what is right without thought of personal costs.

·    And, more than anything else, we want to consistently put others ahead of ourselves.

These are the behaviors, even habits, we want and need to cultivate in our own actions. It is our success here, in these moments that matters most.
Only when these behaviors are harnessed and hotwired into our very soul, their power now under our control…

Then, and only then, does the servant earn the opportunity to become the leader.
Building Your Team to Change the World

As a leader works to master his or her moments, the leader must also work to inspire greatness in the action of his or her teams.
Great teams are the stuff of legends. Throughout history, people coming together, pursuing a common goal have, time and time again, made the inconceivable believable.

·    Almost 2,500 years ago, it was a team that rebuilt the walls around Jerusalem in 52 days - walls which had laid in shambles for more than 140 years!

·    It was a team of 400,000 dedicated professionals at NASA which enabled men to walk on the moon.

·    It was a team of artists, more than 500 of them, who made over 2,000,000 sketches, which enabled sound and picture to come to life like never before. The film released in 1937, was called Snow White.
And many of you have been on a team that accomplished great feats and changed your world.

Now, it is your turn. You are the one who can build the team.
When teams are at their best, there is nothing like them. When they flounder in dysfunction and poor leadership, their pain is palpable. A poorly led team is a colossal waste of time, talent, energy and opportunity.

That is why teams must be led well. A place where performance soars and potential is realized. A place where talents are celebrated and dreams come true. Does this sound like your team?
It can be…

Of the tasks a leader will ever undertake, none may be easier to say and harder to do. Although the time and energy required can be staggering, the effort pales in light of the possibilities.
There is something in all of us calling out to be part of something bigger, some thing, or place, or team, where our talents can be leveraged, our passions can be channeled and our sense of contribution fulfilled. That place can be your next team.

Start building! 

About Mark Miller
Mark Miller is the best-selling author of 6 books, an in-demand speaker and the Vice President of High-Performance Leadership at Chick-fil-A. His latest book, LeadersMade Here, describes how to nurture leaders throughout the organization, from the front lines to the executive ranks and outlines a clear and replicable approach to creating the leadership bench every organization needs.  

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