Leadership? Perhaps we are really practicing followership.
March 25, 2014
I have found myself wondering these days if we are experiencing a dearth of leadership; have we simply become a band of followers?
If we are, in fact, practicing blind or careless followership, then certainly the likes of Rob Ford, Mayor of Canada’s largest city, Toronto, would make total sense. Perhaps it is time to begin an era of true leadership, personal leadership, that has each of us taking the time to do our due diligence when it comes to electing officials who will lead us – whether that be our local municipal government or our provincial and federal governments.
If we all showed up at townhall meetings, researched the candidates’ claims, shook their hands and got to know them personally, we would as a group make better leadership choices. You see, leadership is given to an individual – no one can take leadership. Our lack of participation in the process of giving leadership to individuals is what is causing the value and integrity meltdown that we are currently seeing at all levels of government: the senate scandal in Ottawa, the municipal leadership mess in Toronto, and the provincial crisis in Quebec.
Leadership is a collective activity requiring ongoing action and participation by BOTH parties: the ones leading, of course, but especially those who are following, as the followers play an important and necessary role in holding leadership to account.
A true leader is always reaching out to those being lead and supporting their constituents in the daily practice of personal leadership. A true leader uplifts and empowers their supporters, serving them first, putting the needs of the ‘commons’ before their own. A true leader would not be separate from those he leads, spatially, financially, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.
A true leader should be recognizably, brilliantly ordinary.