The Boss and the Model
In the television series “Fresh Off The Boat”, there is an episode in which the leading character (her name is Jessica) is called to be on jury duty. Most of the episode is spent with Jessica trying to finagle her way to be the jury chair — or as she puts it “the boss of the jury“.
On TV this is hysterical.
In real life it’s sad.
Because there are actually people who posture their way to be “the boss of… Whatever“.
Eighth-grade playground leadership that bosses people around and tells them what to do isn’t real leadership. Most of us know this intuitively. Yet, it’s what happens so often in organizations.
The writing advice of “Show, don’t tell” works for leaders just as well.
Leadership models that have nothing to do with fashion. Here are three things that are impossible to command, impossible to fake, and impossible to lead without.
Mindset is where it begins. A leader is a person set on growth and learning. She will be future-focused and able to “see” things others may not be able to see and talk about things before others even know what needs to be talked about. She’s asking the questions no one is asking. The reason for this is mindset. Leaders must have a growth mindset. Leaders with a fixed mindset are incapable of leading well.
Leadership has clarified their own personal values and sets a high standard of accountability for themselves. Values are seen through choices. And choices are a better leadership tool than “commands”. PTA has already become a vital part of both thinking and personal choice. People who lead know who they are and what they stand for.
Of course, a leader in an organization will live out the values of an organization. The difference being, there will be a genuine alignment of personal and organizational values. Every leader is not wired to lead every organization. Because someone leads one organization well doesn’t necessarily mean she could lead every organization well. Since values guide decisions, they must be genuine and aligned. If they don’t align, the leader must change, the organization must change - or the wrong leadership is in place.
Look for the person modeling these three things in an organization.