It certainly is no secret that I am a strong proponent of strong leadership and am convinced that many of the issues of our world could be brought under control with better leadership. The meaning of leadership seems lost in our society, to many it means power and wealth. I would contend that neither is a measure of leadership.
I want to share the last few paragraphs of an excellent book by Simon Sinek, Leaders Eat Last. In reading this I thought that if we, people in the ski industry, can inspire leadership within the industry, there is a bright future, and without it I am not so sure. Paraphrasing Sinek’s words:
“Everything about being a leader is like being a parent. It is about committing to the well – being of those in our care and having a willingness to make sacrifices to see their interests advance so that they may carry our banner long after we are gone.
“Sir Isaac Newton, the seventeenth century English physicist, offered as his Second Law of Motion the formula f = ma. Force equals mass times acceleration. When the mass we aim to move is great, we must apply more force. If we wish to change the direction of a large company or solve a large problem, we need to apply a huge force. And this is often what we do. We have a big repositioning or a big reorg. The trouble with applying large force to anything, however, it rattles us. We fear it may cause more harm than good. It undermines the Circle of Safety. (A term used extensively by Sinek which refers to being valued by our colleagues feeling cared for by our superiors. We become absolutely confident that the leaders of the organization and all those with whom we work are there for us and will do what they can to help us succeed. We belong. There is an environment for the free exchange of information and effective communication. He cites many successful examples.)
“However, there is another variable that we often neglect. The “a” for acceleration. Who says the change has to be sudden or instantaneous. Citing many successful leaders who did not march in with new theories and start dismantling their organizations. They experimented. Some of their experiments worked. Some didn’t. And in time, momentum built, the changes added up and the organizations and the people within them were transformed.
“Leadership, true leadership, is not the bastion of those who sit at the top. It is the responsibility of anyone who belongs to the group. Though those with formal rank may have authority to work at greater scale, each of us has a responsibility to keep the Circle of Safety strong. We must all start today to do little things for the good of others… one day at a time.”
I encourage reading Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek, it will make you think for sure.