Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Yesterday I was involved in a couple of interesting conversations. One was about what’s appropriate in terms of content for an internal company social media site.  The other was about the qualities of a good leader. I believe there is a connection between these two topics. I am of the belief that much of what happens in the workplace has little to do with the actual work most of us do. In my 20+ years as a leader I have been a priest, social worker, therapist, friend, and counselor. I have comforted, hugged, occasionally chastised, and on a rare occasion, fired people. I see leadership as a ministry. Over the years I have spent time listening to people’s problems, forgiving their sins, and providing encouragement on their individual journeys. Yes, my employer runs a business and we have to take care of that but in the background a lot of life is going on. I am also a writer and most of what I write about is real life. I share my writing in a variety of ways. Yesterday someone questioned the appropriateness of me sharing my writing with a newly created work group. This is a group of which I am a part. I accept the fact that not everyone sees life as I do and I’m OK with that. What I have discovered in the ten years or so that I have been sharing my thoughts with co-workers is that there is a great hunger for the kinds of things I write about. At times I have been overwhelmed with the responses I have received from a wide variety of people from all over my company.  People need meaning in their lives so I share my own search for meaning. I write to inspire, to encourage, to get people to think differently, to make them laugh, and to raise their consciousness. If I am successful, even a little, it will improve the work experience of many. My writing is who I am and who I am is reflected in my leadership style. A leader is not simply a taskmaster. A great leader inspires, encourages, and supports their people. A great leader has everyone’s back. It may sound silly to some but a great leader loves their people. You don’t have to be Spartacus leading a slave rebellion to be a great leader. You can do great things in small ways. A good place to start is simply to care about your people. Like all karma it will come back to you. Leadership can be a burden but it is also a privilege and a way to serve those around you.

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