Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 343

People can see through a farce.

Just like children can tell when we’re hiding something, learners of all ages can tell when a leader isn’t invested in the work being done.

While leaders might find themselves sometimes representing initiatives that aren’t their own, leaders should never feel as if they have to represent work that they can’t invest in.

There are two issues at play here:

The first is that a leader who is tasked with representing an initiative that he or she deems value poor (regardless of whether it actually is, or isn’t), or one in which true investment can’t be made, is leading without love.  Even if we know the leader’s lack of investment is based on data, seeing the frustration on a leader’s face, and watching that person try to support something they don’t believe in is upsetting.  While we might respect the leader for having a different opinion, or for trying to support the organization by “going along with it,” it is tough to respect the process, both on the part of the organization and the leader.

The second is when an initiative is excellent, but the leader, due to lack of interest, capacity, or knowledge, chooses not to invest.  This is a bit different then the first, when the lack of investment might be due to differing philosophies.  Here, there is simply a lack in leadership.  While we should never expect our leaders to be prepared for everything always, we should believe that they can find great initiatives and hold onto them.  It is tough to respect the leader who allows a great initiative to pass a community by, or who can’t reel in the initiative that would do wonders for the leaders and learners in an organization.

In the long run, the best leaders find themselves in communities where they can invest in the organizational initiatives. And that investment, leads to respect, not only for the leader, but also all those that he/she serves.

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