I recall hearing a little phrase while growing up. “Do something you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
The sentiment is sweet: if you’re able to give yourself to a task/role that you’re passionate about and it can serve as a means of livelihood, then you will escape the drudgery that many adults face who perform a job merely to earn an income in order to survive.
Behind that little phrase, though, is a deeply-held value. Most people would rather that things feel easy. We don’t want our occupation to be hard. Get in, get out, go on vacation…with the least effort, bruising, or discomfort along the way. Continue reading “Is your job easy? Do you want it to be?”
I enjoy watching political dramas from time to time (The West Wing, Madam Secretary) and have made an observation: the people that are the most important tend to be the least accessible. Continue reading “Important Or Accessible? Why Not Both/And”
I’m not a dreamer. I’m not a visionary. Possibilities elude me. Passions are often fairly subdued. And yet, all of these things are vital for me to be the best contributor I can be.
So, I decided to give myself some help. I created a reflective, conversational activity to stimulate my heart and mind to birth some vision and engender some possibilities about what I would like to see accomplished in and through my life. Continue reading “New Free Resource: What would you do if someone gave you…?”
With next week’s release of my second book, Embracing Followership: A Discussion Guide for Teams & Small Groups, it seems fitting that we explore a few definitions.
A book for teams and small groups? What’s the difference? Am I just repeating myself? Continue reading “Teams? Small Groups? What’s the difference?”
I’ve seen a few article headlines recently that some employers are recalling their distance (or stay-at-home) employees and bringing them back into the office space. Are we finding that separation isn’t so convenient and effective after all? What about when it’s unavoidable? Continue reading “Does Distance Leadership Beget Virtual Followership?”
Getting to the essence, the definition of ‘leadership’, is perhaps the Holy Grail of modern business and management literature. Everyone seems interested in what the key is, what the core is, what aspect–when given the right amount of investment and expertise–will unlock leadership success. Continue reading “Leadership is Relationship”
Some would say we live in a leader-driven culture; I think it’s fair to simply say that we live in a driven culture, a society which revolves around individual whims and desires and the efforts to see those desires fulfilled. We’re told to grab hold of the things we want, to make things happen.
One lesson I’ve learned in my own followership is that this kind of advice doesn’t lead to the best outcomes in all situations. I need to be able to handle not getting my own way. I need to be able to set aside my own preferences. I need to be able to deal with loss. Continue reading “Letting Go of What You Want”
Modern culture has often drawn a direct definition of leadership from the idea of vision, positing that leadership at its heart is the formulation and communication of a compelling vision. And I have often explored this common association between leadership and vision (see these various posts), seeking to establish the sphere of vision as the purview of both leaders and followers. Having, promoting, and fulfilling a vision is not exclusively a leadership function, but belongs to the realm of followership as well.
If vision isn’t one of the distinctives of leadership, then what element separates out the leadership role from followership? Continue reading “Leadership: Access, Not Vision”
Whenever we pursue a topic that is primarily relational–and the leadership-followership dynamic is one such topic–there are a number of attributes that we must consider. Communication and trust are two central facets of relationship. But another, and more commonly overlooked, aspect that must be explored is honor. Continue reading “Dishonor Among These”
Being a follower must be the easiest role in the world.
By many definitions, it’s leaders who are visionaries, who are burdened with a grand sense of where we need to go and how we need to get there. It’s also leaders who are the agents of change, the ones who bring about progress, improvement, achievement, and revolution.
If that’s true, then as a follower, there’s a fairly simple question: what’s left for me to do? Continue reading “Who are the Change Agents?”
I was recently presented with these words, reported to be from former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher: “Consensus is the absence of leadership.”
Coming from a perspective of intense interest in the subject of followership and group dynamics, this perspective instantly set off in me varying degrees of umbrage and frustration. Continue reading “Leadership, Followership, & Consensus”
Two years ago I made a profound transition. Having worked in the same organization since 2006 in various follower roles, I was asked to step into a formal leadership position.
The timing was ironic. I had recently completed the editing of the manuscript for my book, Embracing Followership: How to Thrive in a Leader-Centric Culture, in which I several times had stated that I’m a follower (not a leader). When the organization needed to increase its capacity to provide better support for teams and having asked me to provide that support for those working in various parts of the UK, I found myself needing to update the book’s content as I had stepped into a new realm of responsibility. Continue reading “Review of Leadership Goals”