One of the things that I’ve been thinking about a lot recently is how leadership translates through the written word, especially through digital mediums like Facebook, Twitter, and (of course) blogging.
To be honest, I’ve never really been a super-fan of the “leadership blogs” or “leadership bloggers” that are out there (except for a very rare few) because I either feel that they do it poorly or that they don’t (in my own mind) deserve to entitle themselves to the moniker of “leader.”
The way that I have always seen it is this: If you give yourself the title of “leader” then you, to a certain degree, disqualify yourself from being one as it’s not something you can (or have the right to) give yourself but something that you ultimately receive from the people that you lead.
Perhaps it’s because I demand an unfair amount of humility that should be the hallmark of a great leader and those that call themselves (unabashedly, unashamedly, or dogmatically) one obviously do not have that quality.
Or perhaps it’s because leadership, to me, is always in tandem with an attitude of service (servant-leader and servant-leadership being the more appropriate and more comfortable word/phrase) and the vast majority of those that claim to be “leadership bloggers” don’t appear to serve and give their community of readers much more than lip-service and and not-so-soft reminder that they are, in fact, self-proclaimed leaders.
But if I’m honest with you – and I try to always be as honest, frank, and forthcoming with you as I possibly can be – a good portion of my discontent with leadership blogs (and those that write them) is simply my own personal insecurity with the idea of leadership as I do not have a personal definition that I am comfortable with believing in and much less discussing and defending.
It’s been an even greater rub, at times, because people have historically called me a “leader” (or at least put my name in the same sentence as leader) and since I feel inadequate with defining it I abandon the notion completely and try to shrug away the reference with impunity.
But things are changing and I’m slowly (very slowly) beginning to turn my attention to what this leadership thing is all about, how it impacts the people that I serve, and how to manage and steward it rightly and effectively.
More than that I’m beginning to pierce of veil of leadership in my own life, in my business, and even in my personal relationships and marriage to the point where I don’t internally itch and shift uncomfortably when someone call me a leader or reference leadership qualities that I may (or may not) have.
I cannot tell you why this is happening and I cannot succinctly tell you what it means but I can tell you that it is happening and that I want to be a better leader (again, whatever that means).
I want to serve my community, my family, and those that I have influence with well and leave positive and lasting change for their lives, businesses, and relationships.
And if it’s a blog (this blog) that experiments with that notion then so be it and I hope you excuse the dust as I may entertain more and more posts about my thought processes surrounding leadership and what I’m learning. Heck, it might even get a bit messy but I’m willing to try.
What about you? What do you think about leadership, generally and specifically? How about leadership as showcased and performed online?
Love to hear your thoughts.
[Image via Creative Commons, Donald.]