I’m fascinated by different leadership theories and methods. It seems like everyone who has a charismatic personality thinks they have the corner on the market for leadership. Books are written, conferences are facilitated, and it seems like everywhere I look there’s a new “Teaching and Training on How to be a Leader”
Our culture is fascinated with leadership too. We value leaders. We shape teen programs, implement company HR training, and even have University courses designed to help students study leadership.
Every parent wants their kid to be a leader, which unearths a rather peculiar question. If every kid in the high school or University is a leader, who are the followers? Don’t you need followers? One thing our culture doesn’t admire as well are followers.
Shouldn’t we have follower seminars alongside leader seminars? (That would be interesting.)
May 2, Here in Durango, Master’s Men is hosting the Leadership Design Group, a special mentorship training team I’ve been involved with for nearly a decade.
Starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Durango Double Tree Hotel, the Master’s Men group of Durango is providing a new way of looking at leadership through mentoring. And before you lump this group in with those I spoke of above, know that there’s a little different catch in this method.
1. Leadership is found in Communities.
The old model of leadership looks something like a logical linear line graph. Someone at the top dictates what the followers do, they do it, and then you can point to a leader.
The Leadership Design Group, however; believes that leaders are just people working on every part of themselves, and then training someone else to do the same. There’s really no one person emerging to be dictatorial, but instead; there is a community of people who are all trying to figure out how to be the best people God made them to be.
This style of leadership is much more intuitive about how communities play a role in helping one another. On a micro scale, it looks like a family where one partner has a gift in an area another partner doesn’t. If a wife is gifted at finances and a husband is gifted in recreation, each person has a play. The community of family is then built by mutual submission for each other’s gifts. I know it sounds logical, but you’d be surprised how many people can’t relinquish control over a certain area because they think they have to be good at every are of life. Well, that’s just not human. We’ve all been given certain gifts and talents that can be used in a variety of ways. So it makes sense we find the parts of life we’re good at and focus on those, instead of trying to control the one’s we’re not good at.
2. Leadership can only come from a central core of belief
This is one of those principles I’ve learned with LDG most helpful in my leadership as a husband, a father, and a friend. We can only lead from a core principle that defines every sphere of life we engage. If someone wants to enter the leadership sphere of a company, a family, or a friendship; they must first define what they’re core heartbeat of belief entails.
Personally, I’ve tried to manage everything I do with a core value of LOVING GOD and LOVING OTHERS. That principle is then allowed to bleed into my financial life, my vocation life, my leisure life, and so on. When I go out and pursue new adventures, I always try to come back to LOVING GOD and LOVING OTHERS as a central theme. If it doesn’t line up, and I fail A LOT, then I try to recalibrate as soon as I recognize the dissenting behavior.
Failure is a part of being a leader. Everybody has compartments in their life where they fail, take a wrong turn, or mis-step; and I’ve had PLENTY. But the character of a leader who leads from a core belief principle is one who can see their failure, be humble in their failure, and then be judged based on how well they return.
Too many people I try to ‘raise up’ to be leaders quit early because they see failure as contributing to their life failure rather than their opportunity to rise up and re-make themselves.
3. Leaders understand the need for followers
Look, if you label yourself as a leader, you must have followers. If you’re marching in one direction and then look back and don’t see anyone following, then you’re just marching alone. Followers are the narrative that ultimately describes someone as a leader. Where are the followers going, and how are they responding to a your leadership?
I saw a TED talk a few weeks ago that best describes this idea of leadership. Here is a 2 minute video, I think you’ll find interesting concerning what it means to lead, what it means to follow, and how to start a movement for whatever you’re looking to begin.
I’m so glad the LDG team is in Durango. If you’re in the area, come on by tonight at 7:00 at the Double Tree Hotel in the Animas Room. It’s free. You’ll get some really interesting tools on leadership and connection for both your life and those people around you.