Paula had let go of what others said she should have kept, and had kept what others said she should let go of. She understood that everyone had an opinion, and they were entitled to it, However, her position was and is to Be a Leader!
Paula has always been a visionary, and that by its very nature will often make others uncomfortable. Looking at her you would never know that those opposition bothered her, because for the most part it didn’t…
This time was different, this was her closest team members. They were the ones she had let in, the ones with whom she had shared the more intimate details of what it takes to be a leader.
Even though it was evident that they didn’t get it, she couldn’t deny the deep longing that they would.
Nonetheless, Paula knew as all those who step up must know: Real leaders are champions for others, and “the cause.”… and that they must willingly remove the interference that threatens to block the pathways that lead to peak performance and fulfilling experiences.
She had hoped to have inspired her team to a greater level of personal leadership, then despite her disappointment, she remembered the central Full Monty Leadership principle she had learned about Authentic Leadership:
At the forefront of Great Leadership is Authenticity. Great Leaders are REAL!
Many see leadership as a position of prestige, privilege and power. Although those can be elements of what sprouts from leadership, there are many things about leadership that so few are willing to stand up for, up against, or be responsible too.
You and I have seen the armchair athlete criticize the professional athlete for a momentary discretion, without ever considering the moment by moment focus it takes to play at that level. The armchair athlete’s judgment and ridicule spills forth without a moment’s thought for the long hours, days, months and years of dedication and deprivation of more favorable desires in order to pursue a dream.
Paula had seen the “armchair leader” criticize an actual leader who works toward a vision that others can barely even imagine. The armchair leader does this without ever considering that an Authentic Leader in anything is in their own way a long distance athlete. As such, chooses to sacrifice things more pleasurable. Oftentimes the thing an authentic leader is willing to sacrifice is the very thing the armchair leader remains attached to: popularity
Because Authentic Leadership is every bit as much in the trenches as it is at the pinnacle.
Those who have never been in those trenches will be more than willing to offer you their “wisdom”. But remember that this so-called wisdom is attained without risk (they have never been in the trenches). And wisdom without invested risk is nothing more than a “nice” theory.
An Authentic Leader has likely risked everything on more than one occasion because of their commitment to the vision and or the cause. Authentic leadership is a responsibility few are willing to bare and many are willing to criticize. That is why:
Leadership is NOT by committee!
Do it, or don’t do it! Do not complain about how much time it’s taking or how much time you have put in.
The pursuit of fulfilling your greatness is NOT a part time thing. You can’t be great in a couple of hours a week, or maybe even in a couple of years… Greatness has a powerful work ethic. If you don’t have that, then abandon the possibility of fulfilling your greatness.
Know this moving forward: Leadership is challenging for many reasons, not least of all because it requires doing what you would rather not do, because it serves the greater vision-mission-purpose.
Leadership is challenging because it requires making decisions about things it would be far easier to put off, or put on someone else, because it serves the greater vision-mission-purpose.
Whatever you have decided to do with what you have learned… If I may, I would offer you a challenge: Be A Leader!
The Question is are you ready, willing and able to step up and do what needs to be done? Do not assume that someone else will take care of “it”.
In the words of a Famous Business Leader:
“Leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion”. – Jack Welch
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