Tag Archives: Leadership

Speed of the leader…

20160413_113933If there is one life lesson I have learned…it would be “speed of the leader, speed of the team“.  I learned this from a wise man who leads by example, living his life striving for excellence. He is a quiet leader, practicing what he preaches. But, not all leaders live or act in a way that makes a positive impact on their team…Sometimes a team is made up of more than one type of leader.

I have worked for individuals who found fault at every turn.  There was never room at the table for an exchange of ideas. There was never room in the conversation for constructive criticism.  And there was absolutely never room for encouragement. Their leadership style is dictatorial.

I have worked with individuals who  looked for opportunities to share wisdom and encourage team members.   They were open to new ideas. They offered constructive criticism looking at each situation from all points of view.  They always offered encouragement. Their leadership style was that of a teacher. DSC04761

Who do you think I learned more from, the person I worked for or the person I worked with… I learned from both. The critical leader bullied his team into producing results. The encouraging leader recognized team weaknesses and took the time to teach new skills which produced results.  Both leaders achieved results…both made an impact on my life.

I am still learning…I recently left a job where I hired and raised up a team of leaders. I was the same type of leader with each of the individuals on my team. Most of my team members became leaders who lead with compassion, enthusiasm and encouragement. The members of their teams produced incredible results week in and week out.  Their team members are thriving and productive. Speed of the leader…speed of the team.

However, not all of them responded in kind to my leadership style. One in particular turned out to be the polar opposite of me; always critical, accusatory and rarely encouraging. This leader is struggling to maintain an effective team. Speed of the leader…speed of the team.

DSC04819I do not take credit or responsibility for the type of leaders the people I hired have become..We are all products of our environment….we are each responsible for the choices we make and what we do with those decisions. We become who we choose to become…

I choose to be a leader who leads with enthusiasm, compassion and encouragement.  I will help my team achieve their goals and dreams. In turn I will achieve my dreams and goals.  I will be able to look people in the eye knowing I have done my very best for everyone involved.  I will be able to lay my head down on my pillow at night without a single regret.

Speed of the leader…




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Filed under 2014 52 Week Photo Challenge, 2016, Leadership, Life

Speed of the leader…

speed of the leader…

As I look at this picture(google image) I see the speed of the leader, the front-runner, the person who is setting the pace.  He has his eyes focused on the gaol which in this situation is the finish line.  There is nothing distracting him from his goal.    His pace is encouraging the others to run harder and keep up the pace. The leader has the clear vision. The front-runner, the leader of the pack in this picture has his head up, eyes focused, his pace seems natural.

Then my eye is drawn to those behind the leader.  What are they thinking?  What is their goal?  Their goal is to surpass the leader.    The runners who are behind the leader are focused on the leader.  Should the leader slow his pace or falter the runner who is as focused and committed as the leader will see his opportunity to rise to occasion and surpass the leader.  Therefore setting a new pace…but as always the speed of leader sets the pace for the speed of the team.

 Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Have you heard the phrase Speed of the leader speed of the team?  I have heard it many times.  So much so it is what I think of when I am organizing a team of volunteers.  I think of it when I am planning a new volunteer orientation or organizing a training meeting. 

An effective leader is someone who has the ability to get others to willingly follow them.  An effective leader has a clear vision and excitedly shares it with the team while continually keeping the team focused on the vision.  Communicating clearly and passionately as passion is contagious.  An effective leader is always doing something in pursuit of the vision, while inspiring others to do the same. 

The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.
Ken Blanchard

An effective leader is dedicated and inspires dedication while leading by example.  An effective leader gives credit where it is due and takes responsibility for failures.  An effective leader is open to listening to new ideas even if they do not conform to the usual way of thinking.  An effective leader thinks outside of the box.  An effective leader checks all of the facts and avoids jumping to conclusions based on incomplete evidence.   An effective leader has the ability to clearly state expectations so that there are no misunderstandings.  And an effective leader must have a sense of humor.  It is vital to relieve tension and boredom as well as defuse hostility.   

The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.
Ralph Nader

An effective leader sets the tone.  Leaders must never expect from others anything more than they’re willing to deliver themselves. 

Speed of the Leader, Speed of the Team. Don’t expect your team to Give or Fight or Sacrifice or Love or Forgive or Stay focused more than you are.


Filed under Leadership, postaweek2011