Leadership in my opinion and simply stated is the choice to serve a need you happen to notice because you noticed and could do something to fill that need.
The only ego driven part of being a leader is in identifying that you do in fact posses the ability to serve this need you noticed.
There is a story I like to use that to me illustrates what it means to see oneself as a King or Queen in your own life.
The term landlord comes from the term Lord of the Land and the Lord cared for the people who cared for the land and saw to their needs. The Lord of the Lords or the King cared for the Lords as he cared for the people. Most people don’t realize that the true king never sits on a throne nor does he wear a crown.
He is wandering his kingdom and finding those who have a need he can fulfill. As he helps these people, he gets to know them and he gets to see how it is they came to have this need. The king is a wise man and as he gets the full story he can see if these people live by the king’s law.
If the king found these to be good people, then something wonderful would happen after he left. If these people were in foul of the king’s law, something horrible would happen after he left.
Either way no one ever really knew who the king was and that was his power.
If you knew you were in the presence of the king, you would put your best foot forward and make sure you were doing everything right, but that is not a fair look for the king.
There are two points to this story.
The first is to always be doing what you know you should, because you never know who is walking by and second, the king’s subjects do not serve the king, the king serves his subjects.
You over hear conversations all the time, what makes you think no one over hears your conversations. “Oh, but that was just between us and no one had the right to be listening.”
Does saying or thinking that ever change the result?
Why do we get mad at the cop for catching us?
Why do we get mad when getting caught by anyone?
Why do we think it was OK for us and yet will condemn others for similar behavior?
Why do we think authority and leadership have anything to do with each other?
To have authority in my opinion is to have the function of enforcing a set of rules or laws.
It has nothing to do with being a leader. It can have aspects of leadership in the performance of the function, however authority is not the equivalent of leadership.
What are the behavioral traits of leadership?
What does leadership look like in living action?
There are traits that define a leader and they are traits that are visible in the actions and attitudes of any true leader.
It begins with the acknowledgment that a leader’s first duty is to identify the needs of the people and serve those needs until the goal is accomplished.
There are times that a leader will need to make sacrifices in order to meet the needs of the people who are taking care of the greater needs.
It is by the example that is set by the leader that the people follow.
Every true leader understands that not even the King or the Queen is above the law, they exemplify it.
No one ever has to question what a leader is doing, they see it in their actions and their attitudes and they operate with transparency.
A leader has nothing to hide and everything to share in order to provide for the greater needs. The key word for me when thinking about leadership is “need.”
What need does what I’m doing serve?
To understand leadership one must understand the difference between need and desire or want. One must be willing to give up want or desire in favor of need.
One must allow for want and desire to be fulfilled, but never at the expense of the needs of others.
Think of it as when you were a kid and tried to tell your parents you needed that thing and you know it was a want, not a need.
In exploring leadership from a spiritual view I looked at different teachings and how they applied in the view of living the concept.
When I hit the Wicca concept of do no harm, I laughed my ass off. Here’s why.
Take a minute to think about the harm done over the course of existence so you could wake up today.
Even in filling needs, harm gets done. A leader evaluates the harm to be done by filling the need versus the harm done in allowing the need to go unfulfilled.
How much environmental harm do we do to drive?
The scarring of the earth to get the materials to build it.
The pollution in manufacturing the oil to have fuel to power it.
The pollution from driving it.
The scarring of the earth to provide roads for driving.
That is one common item in society currently.
Look around and think about where these things come from and find the harm we do to fulfill our wants as well and our needs and we often blur the line between the two to feel OK about it.
A leader never blurs the line and calls it as it is.
The leaders interest is in what is best for the sum, not the some.
Being a leader is not a function, it is a mode of life.
Leadership is not associated with title it is the quality of the walk of your talk. The people we call leaders are closer to being authorities.
We authorize them to decide what’s best for us and trust them to act with leadership in the best interest of the sum.
That is the simplest explanation of every form of government or political structure I could give.
We give the authority to others to govern over us.
We show how we lead ourselves by the type of governance we allow and the authorities to enforce that governance we allow to be and stay in place.
We follow authorities in the form of our governments and the men and women we give title and authority to that make up those governments.
There is nothing that shows being a government authority makes you a leader.
Being a leader is a mode of living and anyone can be and many are leaders without title or authority.