As I was jogging last weekend, I couldn’t help replaying a typical married couples’ scenery in my head, of which I’ll share later. Eventually, my thoughts transcended into the idea of this blog post, as do most of my ideas, which seem to be born during the course of my running sessions. So I have a question for you:
Who is a great leader?
I know that If I am asked that question, I would actually think for a few minutes then come up with the usual broad spectrum answer. The great Nelson Mandela, mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi and a plethora of names, none of which are close to home. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll always respect and admire these great leaders who touched and led millions of people. However, the kind of leader that I would like to talk about today is not a far away leader that I wouldn’t have personally met. Actually I’ll take that back, I did meet mother Theresa when she visited her orphanage in my country, but I was so young then that I just thought she was one of my mothers many nun friends ;-/
“If we look around us, there are plenty of leaders. Leaders who can empower us, who can enable us and who can show us the way.”
Coming back to that married couples’ scenery, I like to think that ‘I am the boss’ at home. I dictate jobs (nicely, I promise) and I expect them to be done. Luckily I don’t have to ask for much, some people just know how to use their own initiative.
Last weekend I tasked my husband to do something on my computer. His response was: ‘come and watch how I do it so that next time you will know how to do it yourself’. I didn’t like it at the time as I was in a rush to go to the gym and he was simply delaying me. I watched sulkily but I did learn. As I’m not so rushed now and I am fully empowered to do it myself, I can safely proclaim: I love that! He always wants to
So to me, a great leader is one who can walk away and things will still go on smoothly behind their back.
With my focus being my hero at home, I shall give you a couple more examples of what I admire in a leader. I know way too many examples where he has done this to a point that I think to myself ‘I want to be just like you’.
Lead by example
He won’t ask of anything that he wouldn’t do himself. For example, he won’t ask you to be present at work if he is not there, weekends included. I am much more inclined to follow this kind of a leader if I can see by my own eyes that he also does the same thing as he is asking of me.
Respect & Gratitudes
One of the first words that we are repeatedly taught to say as children is – thank you. I’ve seen how my hero would look into the eyes of a person and say these words. Sometimes the receiver is completely thrown off balance as they don’t expect to hear these words. He would compliment any positive effort, no matter how small. He would respectfully hold a door for a young person or old, run to help an old lady with her bags, I could go on and on.
So if I come back to you again with that question, who is your closest leader that you can emulate? A partner, a friend, a sister, a neighbour, a pet or still some big shot politician? I thought we could look closer around us. Most great things begin at home. As for me, my kind of leader is a leader that I can draw inspiration from day in, day out, a kind of leader that doesn’t hold my hand but sets me free so that I can fly.