The leadership conundrum.

For a month now I have been pondering the subject of leadership, what are some great truths, and how has it changed over the years.

I have listened to the leaders I work with as coach, and observed those around me. Bosses, managers, people who are leading within their respective fields. Friends, co-workers, those I respect in that role, and reflected on their beautiful and in depth answers, when I asked what it meant to them.

If we look at history and mythology, great leaders have morphed through so many guises. Some were born into a position. To have followers was a birthright, or won through strength and courage, religion, or by fighting or thinking skill. A lot has changed in this day and age with the evolution of mankind. Cultural and religious diversity, technology, and a quickly changing and shrinking world, have made the challenge of great leadership an art, with many variables.

Recently I watched a great TED talk by Devdutt Pattanaik about mythology, and differences that arise within business and cultural beliefs.

This may seem unrelated but at 15 min into his talk there is a wonderfully described practice that was incorporated into a business model in India.

When a manager went through company training and was about to be handed the golden keys to his/her new position, they blindfolded the leader, then surrounded him/her with co-workers, stakeholders, friends, customers and family. Upon removing the blindfold, the leader looked around and invariably shed a tear.

I thought it was a great reflection on the subjective world surrounding a leader. The culture and diversity, the support, and the responsibility within the individual’s new life and position. The practice seemed to underscore humanity, and responsibility within business, and a reminder that any leader must manage all surrounding relationships.

I loved the feeling it gave me to think of how really interconnected we are as humans. If we are blessed enough to find ourselves within a leadership role, we need to honor that responsibility by respecting those around us for their individual needs and desires, their history and background.

Is there a key to great leadership? It seems a culmination of many, depending on where you are, who you are and what you are trying to achieve.

It has been an interesting and thought provoking subject over the past month. I wanted to share some “nuggets” from conversations and contributing individuals that struck a chord with me.

– When in a leadership conundrum, ask yourself what kind of leader you want to be and then be it. In thought, in speaking, and action.

– Having an ethical approach maintains or gains the trust needed to succeed in a group or business environment. (And allows for sleep at night)

– To serve.

– “I like to think that being a good leader means that people are strengthened by your leadership in someway. And in turn the whole is strengthened, including yourself.”

– Have compassion

– Compile and execute the wisdom of yourself and your team while managing the relationships.

– Act with authenticity.

And a quote my husband and I came up with drinking wine on a patio….

“Listen with heart and values then filter with experience and intention.”

Attached is the video I mentioned…http://www.ted.com/talks/devdutt_pattanaik#t-1035757

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