I’ve been thinking a lot about the role of leadership, especially over the last 3 months. And, in the last 3 days. We often look for leaders, CEOs, and Presidents to be the visionaries. The people with the big ideas. The innovators who see things others don’t. But I don’t think this is always the case.
To me, leadership feels like it should be mostly about building teams, building communities, and rallying folks together. You don’t need to be the smartest person in the room, but you need to be the voice that people follow. The voice people listen to. The voice people believe in so that they can live their full potential. So that they feel safe. So that they feel supported to move forward. Whether that is to build a new product, or, much more importantly, to support what they believe is truly right.
And we need the leader to be the mediator. To bring opposing views together and help them get to a mutually beneficial outcome. The leader doesn’t want their decision chosen, they want to provide space for the right decision to be chosen.
We need to focus our leadership choices on the soft skills: the qualities that will prevail, through the politicking, through the disagreements. Hire your leaders for their ability to be a strong voice that people can rally behind. Not simply for the promises they make.
We’re voting in Pennsylvania today and will vote again in November. I hope we choose the leaders we need right now.