By Brian Patterson, Med, RTC
In the past few months, I have been solely focused on studying and applying leadership principles for the purpose of advancing a state service agency and it is an incredible task and opportunity- the sky’s the limit! So many people suffer or, at least, are under-productive because of inadequate or inappropriate leadership.
There have been leaders throughout history who sparked incredible movements for their time but seemingly, no one picked up the mantle and continued enough to produce a paradigm shift in leadership thinking. Leadership usually resorts to position power, carrots and sticks thinking and the presumption that the leader must be better than the followers or they would not be in the position. It’s circular reasoning. Few leaders invest in themselves so that they have more to offer those they lead.
Three leadership trends and philosophies that I have been studying have a different bent- a 21st Century approach. They are Transformational Leadership, Servant Leadership and Lead Management by Dr. William Glasser. All three value the followers as more than just a resource or business calculation. Preserving the dignity and raising the vision of those who are led seems to propel each philosophy. I am encouraged when I read about any of the three. John Knox, the 16th Century Scottish reformer wrote, “You cannot antagonize and influence a person at the same time.” Being a boss rather than a leader attempts to do that. In today’s society, I believe that we can accomplish more by treating people kindly and having a powerful shared vision for success.
“Hope begins in the dark: the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.” – Anne Lamott
There are three requirements for leadership at any level. No matter where you are positioned in a company, agency or family, you have someone who follows you.