Sunday, January 20, 2008

Leadership in the Work Place Starts at Home

I just arrived back home from a Leadership Institute that my employer has asked me to attend. It was most interesting with 20+ people from all aspects of life (varied ages, varied careers, varied goals and varied perceptions on life).

What I found interesting is that no one in the many small group breakout sessions spoke of a foundation to their leadership. When leadership examples were given, the only credit given to others was co-workers and this was rare.

I just think of leadership differently I guess. I can say that "yes, I'm a leader, follow my example" but what or where is my leadership based? What makes me a 'leader'? Just success in my career area? That is great but it is ... well, temporal.

I brought up in one of the breakout groups that my definition of leadership starts in the home as being a spiritual leader for my family (i.e. the foundation to the leadership that I'm striving for uses the text of the Bible for its foundation). To me that is the most important job that I can have. The looks that I got you would have thought that I have three eyes. Why is that? One hundred or two hundred years ago if the great leaders of that time would have said that to a group of peers would they get the same response? Why is leadership in the home not seen as important as leadership in the workplace today... and why is spiritual leadership so foreign to so many of us?

Historical leaders... Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and so many others when speaking of leadership point not to themselves but to to God and to the Bible for which they build their foundation for leadership. Over and over again we read in their speeches of the their reliance on God for the strengh of their success in leadership. (By the way, when reading their speeches; do not read 'snippets' in textbooks, read them in whole --- one book that I recommend is Great American Speeches.

On what is your leadership based? Why have you chosen that basis?