Pick one of the propositions and relate a story or insight or observation that illustrates that proposition (250 words, apa plus references)
The first proposition is that leadership can be developed, but it takes time it’s good news that leadership can be developed for you because you can indeed become a great leader, you can advance your leadership, and you can get better at it.
However, what’s happening today is that many people are working 60 hours a week. They’re working fifty weeks a year, and they’re working 16-hour days. The effect of this is that for many people, they’ll reach fifty thousand hours (one half of a productive working career) in a mere 17 years, which means their hundred thousand hours is up in 34 years, not 45.
Leadership can be developed, but it takes time. It’s a marathon. Most of us are running this as fast as we possibly can. So, one of the things to keep in mind is that we have to slow down to learn the lessons of leadership.
It takes time . . . Slow down to learn the lessons of leadership.
The second proposition that I’d put in front of you is that we want leadership, but we hinder it. We want it. Some of you have been well led in your life, and it felt good, even a little spooky, like that leader knew you better than you even knew yourself.
Sometimes the culture of our organizations is such that you’re not allowed to say certain things: “It’s just not done here.” But those are exactly the things that need to be said.
You’ll find in many organizations people speak in acronyms, right? You can’t even understand what they’re saying because it’s a whole series of abbreviations. So, that means they begin to think alike because, guess what? Language is mind.
Have you ever seen the show “The Office”? Now, it’s a funny show because it’s sad, right? It’s disaffected. And yet we can’t help watching it. And do you know why we can’t help watching it? Because it reminds us of our own organizations.
We identify. We know people in our own firms, in our own jobs that are exactly the characters in that show.
To me, this is reality TV. That’s real life. It’s train-wreck TV. We can’t help but watch that. I always say, by the way, every office has a Michael Scott, and if you don’t know who it is in your office, it’s probably you.
Third one (important) is that leaders are in the spotlight. You’re being watched. You’re being watched by the people that report to you and the people who you report to, all the time.
They’re taking their cues from you. If you walk in and you’re nervous, they’re going to feel nervous because they’re going to think something’s wrong. If you walk in and you’re angry, they’re going to feel it. Any emotion that you’re expressing, they’re going to feel; emotion is contagious.
Why is because you’re the most important part of their day. You’re the one that’s going to evaluate their performance, you’re the one that gives them their assignments, and you’re the one that provides feedback. So, it makes sense that you are in the spotlight, that they are paying attention to you.
You’re the most important part of their day.
But it’s also: This is an enormous burden. You have to constantly, as a leader, be thinking about what you’re doing, what you’re saying, and how you’re saying it because people are watching you so carefully and so closely.
You have to constantly . . . be thinking about what you’re doing, what you’re saying, and how you’re saying it.