By J. William DeMarco
…or… Why do you want to be a leader? Is it the honor, the glory, the respect, the perks? The really great parking?
Leading is so multi-dimensional and if you are doing it right, it impacts all aspects of a leader’s life. As a leader, there are not many minutes in the day when I am not pondering the organization, the mission, the vision…and what is the next BIG thing we are going to tackle.
Every person is so different, so I can not say this is true for all leaders–I only know this is so for me. Do I have this perfect? Absolutely not…hence the reason one of my favorite mottos is….”just trying to get better,” or…”if you are not getting better–what in the world are you doing?”
Standards and responsibility came to mind this AM. As leaders we have to hold ourselves to a much higher standard than our followers. If one were to look at their life from a Spiritual, Physical, and Mental perspective… this higher standard must impact all three areas.
Responsibility: As one climbs that leadership ladder–the perks and privileges pile up BUT… we must give thought to the responsibility of the upward journey. Leaders can give up anything except responsibility, either for themselves or their organizations. John D. Rockefeller Jr once said… “I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.
I am not sure we see that as the dominant sense of leadership today–too many leaders are ready to assert their “rights,” but not to assume their responsibilities. So…ensure the highest standards and grab the responsibility for your position today and own it… your organization and people will be better for it.
“The price of greatness is responsibility.” — Winston Churchill
“Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off.”— General Colin Powell
“Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses.” — George Washington Carver
“All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.” — John Kenneth Galbraith