2016-05-18 / Opinion

Leadership

BY JON BLOCK,
DECKERVILLE
Businessman, public official

What is leadership? Leadership is the ability of a person to guide. Whether it is guiding an individual through a single task or a large organization through a complicated process. Everyone who has contact with another person takes on some sort of leadership every day. A school teacher is the leader of the classroom. The teacher sets the tone for how the classroom is to operate. Some classrooms run as well- oiled machines as others are filled with chaos.

This same basic example applies to just about every situation we encounter every day. Take for example two local fast food restaurants serving coffee in the morning. One is always fast and ensures your coffee is just as ordered and the other is persistently slow and regularly gives you the wrong coffee. You guessed it, the better restaurant has better leadership.

These are small examples of how leadership affects us. Leadership affects us on a larger scale in our government. Instead of one teacher leading a classroom or one manager leading a restaurant there is a leader making decisions that affect people on a large scale. The decisions made by government leaders can affect large groups in a substantial way either positive or negative. What kind of leader are you?

There are many different types of people so that means there are many different types of leaders. Some people lead through intimidation, using a threatening persona to compel people around them to do their will. The intimidation leaders rose to their position by using bullying techniques and continues to use those techniques to keep people in check. These types of leaders will always fail because the people they are leading fail to trust them and grow to resent them.

We all know one of these leaders or have worked under one, it is not a pleasant experience. Another kind of leader is the complacent leader. A complacent leader is a person who is in a leadership role but falls short of the ability to truly lead in an effective manner. These leaders usually maintain reasonable order in their positions but fail to achieve great success for their organization.

Now my personal favorite type of leader -the inspirational leader. This type of leader earns the trust and respect of those whom they lead. They lead by example and never ask anyone to do something they won’t do themselves. This type of leader is the one you look up to and aspire to be more like. Inspirational leaders take responsibility for their actions and own up to mistakes. Inspirational leaders earn your respect by resolving issues in a fair manner. This type of leader is selfless and is willing to sacrifice their needs for others.

Good leadership is contagious, it affects those around you and compels them to perform better in all aspects of life. I had a personal experience with something as simple as a napkin at a roadside food stand just a week ago. The napkin slipped out of someone’s hand and blew by 20 people who just watched it go by them. I had to decide would I follow the group and let it pass me by or would I lead. I make leadership decisions everyday as a business owner, public official, and as a father. I see my decisions and their effects on people. I strive to be selfless and strong for those that I lead. The very best of leaders understand that leadership by nature is to serve. Not everyone is cutout to be a great leader of a large group or community, but anyone can pick up a napkin.

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