The master leader is one who has achieved the self-confidence, the wisdom, and the skill necessary to guide others with out being oppressive, manipulative, or a genuine ass. They achieved the distinction of being a master leader from doing leadership and learning it on the job of life.
When you work for the less-than master leader it you know it. There’s a sense of superiority from the leader, a sense that they know best and are merely leveraging you as a tool to get more work done. Or worse, using you as someone through which they can exhibit their position, rank or status.
When in these situations, leave as quickly as possible when you can create an alternative. If you can’t leave, keep your head down and continue looking for an escape. It’s unlikely the person/situation will change.
Good, effective leadership, the kind that makes you want to storm a hill or work crazy overtime, comes from the heart. It’s not a formula that can be provided and it’s a different mix for everyone. Good leadership is like a bespoke pair of shoes.
I’ve worked for and with many master-leaders over the years. They all embodied these attributes:
Created without possessing. The master leader made great things happen with projects or led their organizations to new heights, but they did without taking the credit. They created success, but didn’t posses it because they passed that on to everyone else.
Acted without expecting. The master leader undertook their actions with the confidence that what was needed would occur. Perhaps not exactly as they envisioned, but it would happen nonetheless. They took action, but didn’t lock themselves into set expectations of how the outcome would occur.
Guided without interfering. The master leader provided vision, they offered a strategy and sometimes even pointed in the direction. Then they got out of the way. They guided others without meddling in the process.
These aren’t new fads, they’re old standards thanks to Lao Tzu the Chinese philosopher. These might seem counterintuitive, but that’s why masters are masters. They know that what appears simple, what appears to be a solution that won’t work, is often the right solution. The best path to follow.
Try this guidance for a month in your leadership. That’s it, just 30 days like a software trial. My guess is that your stress will reduce, your team will respond differently, and productivity and workplace uality of life will increase.
“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” Lao Tzu
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