Indavertent Leadership

Gosling fleet
Inadvertent Leadershipjonasflanken / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

I participate in a small group that meets once a month to share insights and wisdom. This particular group reminds me of stimulating intellectual conversations I used to have with my cousin’s family. Today’s discussion was on the topic of leadership. As the conversation unfolded, I realized that I was an inadvertent leader as a child. I didn’t grow up thinking that I wanted to be a leader. Rather, I was the kid who was entrusted by parents to carry the glass casserole across the street, and to walk other children to school, even though I was not the oldest. I did not give a thought to the fact that I was being perceived as a leader at the ripe young age of 4. I believe I was chosen as a leader because I exhibited responsible behavior and elicited trust from others. Those same qualities have contributed to my success as a leader throughout my career.

Someone else mentioned this morning that they learned how to be a leader from their military training. Others likely learned leadership from books, seminars, or mentors. However you learned to be a leader, the bigger question is how effective is your leadership in your business? The best leaders know when to take charge and lead, and when to step back and be an observer while letting someone else take the lead. When the business moves past your ability to be an effective leader, it is time to either increase your leadership skill or more likely, to bring in someone else to take the business to the next level. Are you an inadvertent leader? Or an intentional leader?

2 thoughts on “Indavertent Leadership

  1. Great post and spot on in your observations here Cindy. Leadership is something that you have to work at to get good at. As a business owner if you’re not working on it then you’re leaving the direction of your business to change. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. All managers are leaders, whether inadvertent or not. ALL poor managers are inadvertent leaders – they are just leading their teams in the wrong direction. A new manager will focus in the wrong thing when taking over -“OMG, The big brass are keeping an eye on me, I’d better deliver”. Nope, the big brass have too much on their own plate to worry about than to keep eye on you. It will be your team watching (and judging) you. They say that character is “doing the right thing when no one is watching “. A new manager’s character will be discussed at the water cooler or lunch room. For instance, heaven help the manager that leaves on time while the rest of the team pulls an all-nighter to hit a deadline. They will never put out 110% for that manager again. They may put in the overtime, but they won’t put out the effort.

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