For most of my life I took leadership for granted. I had no particular interest in “developing leadership”. I thought everyone was eager for the responsibility of leadership, driven by the demands of the mission and motivated to foster human development and eliminate unnecessary suffering.
Fine. Mock me. You won’t be the first to think me foolish, naive or too kumbaya to last in the real world. Except – I have lasted in the real world. And proven that things can get done when people are willing to do the work.
But, back to leadership. I took leadership for granted because I was absolutely certain of 4 things –
- I knew I would not work in any arena in which leadership was blind and/or purely self serving.
- I knew I could and would follow if leadership was solid but If not….
- I would and could lead in whatever situation I found myself. I relished responsibility.
- I knew there were always other leaders in the arena that would step up given the invitation to do so.
The joy I derive from work now comes from connection to those people just like me. Mostly women. Some men.
After decades of trying to get meaningful work done, I can walk into any room and pick out the people that will step into challenges.