What Makes a Leader?
Then, this past week there was this… the August 20 Tragically Hip Concert. Gord Downie is a story in courage, honesty, integrity and leadership. His living story illicits such responses as this video. Millions have been moved, myself included. In my own attempt at response, I wrote this on Facebook the day after the live show.
Maybe one of the things we can take away from the example of Gord Downie and #thetragicallyhip is the importance of living a life and work true to you… your craft… your meaning. Maybe just maybe one of the great gifts of thanks we can give back for his and their example is to find our own craft or profession or vocation, that to which we will give our love and excellence. I said many years ago that WEALTH is When Love And Excellence Take Hold. What we witnessed last night and over the years is a band that understands that. We can best honor that by learning and living from the example. Now there is a legacy. Thank you to Gord and the band for showing us what commitment, passion, purpose, honor and love looks like. While I personally was not a huge fan of the music (though I liked it) I am a huge fan of their personhood. Peace.
This all brings me to a simple question. When I teach on Trait Theories of Leadership, I suggest to my business students that the people they see as leaders are seen by them as such because those leaders possess certain traits or strengths of character that my students believe a leader must possess. In other words, Trait Theories of Leadership say that we pick who we see as leaders based on whether or not they possess what we believe to be the strengths of a leader. With that in mind, taking both the aforementioned article on leadership in China and the story of Gord Downie into account, what strengths of character come to mind for you that a leader might possess?
This is no trivial exercise. Acknowledging these strengths tells you something about what you admire and what you seek in a leader… and it gives insights into what you might like to develop and strengthen in yourself. That is why we call it leadership, by example. Gord Downie has sampled it for us. What do we admire about that and him and how can we reflect it in ourselves? How can we reflect it at school, work and community?
Leadership begins with character. Begin there.
Peace, passion and prosperity.
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™
Barry is ultimately a strength coach. His work is about exploring, identifying, practicing and mastering our strengths and building upon them through practical and powerful unity and resourcefulness. That is why Barry is The Unity Guy™. EPIC Engage™ is an extension of The Unity Guy™. The Epic work is all about building strong, united and inspired cultures lead by character… at school, work and community; where everyone matters and contributes everyday.
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