On Leadership I

It is imperative that you do not do what so many do, and that is to by default equate the quality of leadership with position or job title. It is a common mistake today, and growing all the more common under the false flag of “tolerance,” as we hedge the truth or pander as an expected, politically correct and worldly conditioned response. Speak truth to power, always. True leaders appreciate it, and why be concerned with what leadership pretenders think? Speak truth to power, always.

Oh my!, the word “Leader” is in abundant supply! If everyone who claims to be a leader were represented as beans, we would have enough gas to power a large metropolis! Unfortunately, a true leader is more than an anointed label. How so?

Lincoln explained it best:

“If you call the tail of a dog a leg, how many legs does a dog have? Four.”

You see, you can label someone a leader, or someone can label themselves a leader, but the labeling does not change what they really are any more than words can change the tail of a dog into a leg. If people don’t behave as a leader, they are not a leaders, regardless of position, rank, or title.

But you must not confuse leadership with so-called “aggressive behavior.” Pulling a knife in anger on someone? That is aggressive behavior. Telling someone what the truth they do not want to hear, but must hear? That is not aggressive behavior. What it is, is one characteristic of a leader.

Also, do not over-buy into the “team concept.” Teamwork as a substitute for leadership is as oversold as a college degree. Don’t be suckered into consensus building when you must stand up and lead people, no matter what the odds in the room at the time. If you go into some battles with a team/herd mentality you are doomed to fail, as the herd is not interested in one of its former peers moving up the authority ladder. The herd is not interested in an independent good idea. Go read Animal Farm and see for yourself how the herd reacts. Think of how a healthy immune system reacts to foreign bacteria, and you will not be far from the mark.

The group often labels the above messenger of truth a “loose canon.” Absolute nonsense. The first sign an intelligent person is on the trail of truth is when they attract labeling. Labeling someone is an easy method of isolation and dismissal of that person. The second sign is when herd members use the specific, “loose canon” nom de guerre.

Use of this particular label betrays the insecurity within others. Rather than step up and address an issue of disagreement, members of the herd redirect their collective limited energy away from the truth, ironically in actual protection of the dysfunctional leader, by slapping the messenger of truth with a label. “Watch out for Joe. He’s a loose canon.” Predictably, the herd runs from the loose canonner. The issue goes away? Why? Because Joe quits. Joe gives up. The wrong guys win again. But when I hear the ‘loose cannon” or equivalent labels spoken, I go talk to those so labeled and make up my own mind. More often than not, they are right on target and worthy of support.

To take the path of leadership is a tough road to walk. Leadership is a gift, and God rationed it. But this makes sense, as a tribe of Chiefs would never work. As stated, there is no shortage of pretenders. In the same manner that everyone who knows the alphabet considers themselves a writer, anyone assuming authority might assume themselves to be a leader. It doesn’t work that way.

You will find that titles and true leadership talent rarely coincide.