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Leadership Part 1

Updated: Jan 13, 2022

I wrote this in 2019 while deployed to Qatar based on my observation in the gym. It's long, but hopefully worth the read:

On two occasions while at the gym, I heard/seen a supervisor berate and belittle her staff. She basically told them they were not leaders and were dumb. My personal training session was even cut short for a staff meeting to further berate her employees. She was stifling their creativity and initiative by telling them they couldn’t do anything without her approval (even simple stuff like taking down old signs and putting up new ones) and then telling them they were lazy and didn’t do anything. One word came to mind, “Toxic”, and so did several thoughts about leadership. I’ll share my thoughts here:

1. Leaders aren’t always leaders or managers-sometimes they are simply “qualified” for a position on paper and call themselves that.

2. Leaders understand that to earn trust and loyalty, they must first show themselves trustworthy and loyal. They also understand these are earned and cannot be demanded.

3. Leaders make decisions scared, they are not scared to make decisions.

4. Leaders don’t let others make decisions for them so they can blame others when things don’t go right. Leaders share success and own failures.

5. Leaders lead from the front, they do not hide behind their followers.

6. Leaders understand that berating and demeaning someone doesn’t get someone to work harder for you; motivating and inspiring them to be great, does.

7. Leaders know that you’ll get better from a person who feels valued. Like John Maxwell says, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Add value to increase value.

8. Leaders have to develop interpersonal skills. We are not cookie cutter humans, baked in the same womb, under the same circumstances, and our response to like situations cannot always be the same. What is good for the goose, will sometimes kill the gander. Get to know your people and adjust your leadership style where necessary.

9. People will walk right behind or very close to a good leader. If there is a big gap between a leader and their followers, maybe it’s time to slow down, reflect, do some introspection, and ask for an unbiased opinion on how to close the gap and where improvements can be made. No one has arrived, every leader can still learn.

10. Leaders know that learning is continual. To stay relevant, on top, and connected, you must continue to grow and develop yourself so you can continue to grow, develop, and mentor others.