Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Don't be a big shot.

According to Robert Greenleaf - the first job of every Servant Leader is to "create the next generation of leaders."

I believe this is a special mission for all leaders who care.

To this end, I was a bit dismayed when a few college business leaders told me of their recent experiences at a University sponsored event.  The event was titled "Women in Business."  Local Women business leaders were selected to address a group of students from the University.  Young Women of the University's Student Business Leaders group were selected as guides for the speakers.

After the seminar - I asked the guides to describe what they learned from being with these local business Women.

It wasn't good.

As a group they felt unappreciated and disrespected by the Women who came to campus to share their experiences.  After they relayed a number of examples - one young leader asked:

"How do you gain the respect of older leader's?"

I struggled with her anguish.  Of course the answer is  - be a good leader and you will gain respect.  I also explained how she could never change how people treated her only how she reacted to the treatment.

I hated to hear how small these young leaders felt at the seminar.  It turned out to be a lesson in how not to act when you have achieved a bit of success.

Along your leadership journey make time to help others grow - create space for other leaders to gain confidence, capabilities, and possibilities in your pressence.  Don't be a fooled by important titles and the symbols of success.  Instead, take the time to help create the next generation of leaders. 

This is leadership.

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