Leadership is Everywhere . . .

The road to leadership is travelled one step at a time.  There is no express elevator or fast track!

I am often amazed at how the word leadership conjures up in people’s minds images of military generals, heads of state and captains of industry.  These are definitely groups of people where the term leadership should easily fit.

But is that all? Is leadership only attached to those who do great things against impossible odds and who impact the lives of many?

If we were to broaden the definition of leader (and therefore leadership), I think we would find far more leadership in the world than we might first suspect. In fact, you could say that “leadership is everywhere”.

I see real leadership not as a position, but as a set of characteristics that are practiced no matter what the size of the audience or the importance of the task.  In fact, I believe leadership is exercised on a continuum, from small acts of leadership to courageous acts of leadership on the global stage.  The characteristics are the same, and people should be recognised for exercising leadership, all along the continuum of small to big. It’s the act of leadership that matters, not the size of the deed.

Everyday leadership is more important than one or two great acts.  How do those who display real leadership on the macro, global stage get there?  They don’t just suddenly get the position of leader.  There is no express elevator or fast track to leadership.  Long before they got the position or title, they were leaders.  The displayed leadership.  They overcame fears.  They helped others instead of themselves.  They worked hard to develop the skills required.

From small acts of leadership, great leaders are grown.

What are some of the small acts of leadership that impress you when you see them?

Tight Lines . . .

John R Childress

john@johnrchildress.com

About johnrchildress

John Childress is currently Visiting Professor in Strategy and Culture at IE Business School in Madrid and a pioneer in the field of strategy execution, culture change, executive leadership and organization effectiveness, author of several books and numerous articles on leadership, an effective public speaker and workshop facilitator for Boards and senior executive teams. In 1978 John co-founded The Senn-Delaney Leadership Consulting Group, the first international consulting firm to focus exclusively on culture change, leadership development and senior team alignment. Between 1978 and 2000 he served as its President and CEO and guided the international expansion of the company. His work with senior leadership teams has included companies in crisis (GPU Nuclear – owner of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Plants following the accident), deregulated industries (natural gas pipelines, telecommunications and the breakup of The Bell Telephone Companies), mergers and acquisitions and classic business turnaround scenarios with global organizations from the Fortune 500 and FTSE 250 ranks. He has designed and conducted consulting engagements in the US, UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa, China and Asia. Currently John is an independent advisor to CEO’s, Boards, management teams and organisations on strategy execution, corporate culture, leadership team effectiveness, business performance and executive development. John was born in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and eventually moved to Carmel Highlands, California during most of his business career. John is a Phi Beta Kappa scholar with a BA degree (Magna cum Laude) from the University of California, a Masters Degree from Harvard University and was a PhD candidate at the University of Hawaii before deciding on a career as a business entrepreneur in the mid-70s. In 1968-69 he attended the American University of Beirut and it was there that his interest in cultures, leadership and group dynamics began to take shape. John Childress resides in London and the south of France with his family and is an avid flyfisherman, with recent trips to Alaska, the Amazon River, Tierra del Fuego, and Kamchatka in the far east of Russia. He is a trustee for Young Virtuosi, a foundation to support talented young musicians. You can reach John at john@johnrchildress.com or john.childress@theprincipiagroup.com
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5 Responses to Leadership is Everywhere . . .

  1. Sandy says:

    John — My list of nominees for the “Blog of the Year” Award wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t include you. Thanks again for your nominataion. To see the post, visit: /anotherlovelyday.wordpress.com/2012/12/26/thank-you/. I hope you have a wonderful new year!
    ~ Sandy

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  2. Somehow, I get to see leadership in action more closely among my teenage daughter’s school friends. One observes the girls that support others, that can be relied on in a pinch, that facilitate organization when it is necessary, that mediate disputes etc.

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  3. Raunak says:

    John, spending a lot of my time in a manufacturing unit, I come across many small acts of leadership everyday.Operators on assembly lines and molding units make decisions that call for a lot of acumen and courage. Unfortunately, very few in the management realize that no problem reaching them does not necessarily mean that no problems occured on the shopfloor. It means that the workers on the floor have shown tremendous leadership in tackling and resolving those problems by themselves.

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