To me, leadership is about helping others. When I was younger, it meant being the boss, but I realize now I was incorrect in my assumption. Last year I complete the Leadership Victoria program, which is a school year long program that accepts around 24 people who they believe to be the future community leaders. If you're interested in the program, check out the website and feel free to ask me any questions!
Anyway, my background is technical, and as we tend to hang around like minded people, most of my close social circle is very technical and meticulous. Instead of focusing on helping each other up as leaders, I've observed that we tend to focus on showing off to each other on how technically competent we are to our peers. (spend an hour on internet relay chat (IRC) to witness this first hand)
Instead of leading, and building a community, this creates a competitive landscape instead, which to me is counter productive. Once your focus is on how you can use your skill sets and resources to help others, you realize how rewarding this is. For example, I'm fortunate to have a very large social circle right now, this often results in me being able to connect the right people together. As such, I feel more successful now than I ever have before, and not in a financial sense; I have people come to me and ask for help. This means I've slowly built a reputation that people feel comfortable approaching me, and knowing that I will do what I can help or lead them in the right direction. This makes me feel like a successful leader.
I still have friends in both camps; those that are technically competent that will matter-of-fact-ly give me a dry, technically correct answer. I also have those that legitimately want to help, who I know will spend the time making me comfortable in understanding the solution, or helping me to get there. Even though they both end up at the same place, one of these types of people is leading you, and makes you feel comfortable, the other could be replaced by a robot.
The next few times someone asks something of you, think about your response to them; are you being a leader? Unless you suffer from one of the three autism spectrum disorders, let's hope it's the latter!
Leave a comment