Does Leadership Make a Difference?

Recently I had a participant pose the question “whether practicing leadership made a difference?” At first, my brain just stumbled and my heart stopped….how could this even be a question in anyone’s mind?! Of course, there are so many examples where leadership is lacking and yet organizations and/or business continue to survive ….the question makes absolute sense. As usual I stumbled for an example and later one emerged a few weeks later in my community.

When my son was in grade school his principal was replaced. We have had an interim principal “Jon Doe” for six months. He did not do a lot different in terms of process… he maintained standards to the expected level of excellence, he was a behind the scenes kind of leader, and he made a huge difference through his nature alone. He has lifted a cloud from the school. The teachers became more engaged, a bit looser yet equally competent and the parents felt more welcomed to stop in see their children at lunch and other events. The large events have a friendly feeling of community which has been non existent for some time. I do not know that he did a whole lot different except for being himself. He is an open, focused, caring, active, participative, supportive, and a firm leader. Because of his presence and way in the school one could “feel” the difference in the environment. This has been remarked by many in the community.

So the answer to the question, is yes it makes a difference. Absolutely it makes a difference. For those of you who identify yourselves as leaders and you wonder if you make a difference you do. Here are some tips to remain on focus:

* Know your nature, your natural gifts, your interests, and your strengths
* Surround yourself with others who love to do the things you do not love to do
* Surround yourself with others who love to do what you do and do it better
* Make whatever you do fun
* Inspire creativity
* Acknowledge regularly the attributes, gifts, efforts of others and how their work makes a difference
* Ignite and feed your own passion for learning, growth, and reaching outside your comfort zone
* Take the time to acknowledge the quiet and strong leaders ( the individuals who are more focused on making a contribution)

Remember we live in a time where often there is an absence of leadership and you cannot allow this to deter you from your own pursuit and practice of leadership excellence. Be the leader you want to see in the world.

Let me know your thoughts!

Make a difference,

Bobbie Goheen

What do you think?