I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my motivations for leadership. Why do I enjoy learning about leadership and being in leadership positions? Why am I quick to criticise lack of leadership in others but so easily able to justify my own actions? Am I comfortable with not being a very good leader, or do I have to be great at this in order to fulfill an inner need?
The self reflective questions range on and it can become quite a consuming spiral of moments of great confidence to self-doubt and back again. Yet the one question that keeps going around in my mind of late is why do I want to lead? And the opinion I’ve started to form is that this question underpins the answers to all of the other ones.
My reasoning is simply this: if my motivation to lead others is ultimately about me, then perhaps my own imperfections will prevent me from ever getting past myself to truly lead. However, if my motivation is about others, then it doesn’t matter what strengths, techniques or ideas I apply, simply that I’m there with an outstretched hand to help. And there are lots of ways in which to help others, especially if the motivation is not self-serving.
I probably didn’t explain that very well, but I’ve realised that the type of leadership we hear least about is probably the most important. We’re surrounded by leaders, some great, some not so much, many trying hard to be good. I can learn from all of them, but most of all I’d like to start understanding and learning about the people and ideas that lift people up. Leadership that enables and empowers others to gain benefits that impact their lives and the wider community in which they live and work.
Uplifting leadership. That sounds like something worth learning about.