the blog Synergy

Friday, March 10, 2006

Response to: "Great Leading Means What Exactly?"

Rosa challenged us with five tough questions about what “Great Leading” means exactly. Here are my thoughts:
  • What is “Great Leading” to you? Great leading is someone who is willing to stand behind you when you make mistakes, and stand in front of you to block the wind and clear obstacles. Great leading means effective, not over, delegation, with proper follow-up, support, and materials.

  • What do you want from those who do pick up the baton of leadership? Integrity, Feedback and a willingness to allow me to work within my strengths zone. I want them to be honest with me about their expectations, to provide me the feedback I need to take things to the next level. I also want to be stretched for greatness within my strength zone, and not be forced to do things I am naturally terrible at, and will never be good at.

  • Do you buy that everyone can lead? What do you think I have to coach would-be leaders in? What is “walking the talk” of Great Leading? Everyone can lead in something, and as long as they stay within their gift zone. Now not everyone can be a vocal leader or carry the name “leader” but everyone CAN lead something. Coach would be leaders in the power of feedback, and the power of NO feedback. No feedback sucks, and it is the quickest way to get your stars to stop shining. Coach would be leaders on the power of a positive attitude, and a willingness to focus on the can. And teach would be leaders that not everyone is good at everything…and that’s okay!

  • What does it take to be a Great Leader outside the arena of your job where it’s normally expected? Easier? Harder? Is there any difference? To be a “Great Leader” outside where it’s normally expected takes a commitment to getting the job done, to asking experts for help, and to ask others to over-communicate at first to ensure you understand where they stand and what their strengths are. This is much harder than leading your team, because often people are in competition with you and think they have a vested interest in you failing instead of you succeeding because they are not big picture folks. The one thing that is a bit easier is you don’t have to see them every day (normally).

  • And I wonder, what must Great Leading begin to look like in the blogosphere? If you are reading this, you are leaps and bounds beyond the majority of the world in terms of your “multi-media literacy.” Whether you blog or “just read ‘em” how can you be leading? What kind of virtual leaders are you hoping will appear on your radar? Great Leading in the blogosphere is someone who takes the time to nudge along an aspiring blogger, who is willing to mentor a less seasoned person, and help them take things to the next level. Comments, or even private e-mails to people encouraging them can be amazingly powerful. This is how I try to lead in the blogosphere. I also try to read as many other bloggers as possible, and share information whenever it’s applicable to what they normally write about, and whenever I see others name in print. I try to really get to know the person behind the blog, and offer my support as much as possible. As what kind of “virtual leaders” I am hoping will appear, they honestly already have, and many are part of this community, with others part of the Ho’ohana Community over at Talking Story. These are people who give everything they have, willingly, without ever asking anything in return. And I love everyone of them for it!

Make it a great day!
Phil Gerbyshak


  • At 5:59 AM, Blogger Rocky said…

    That is a great description of leading. I liked it so much that I printed a copy to keep. Thanks

  • At 10:16 AM, Blogger Rosa Say said…

    Thank you Phil, this is a terrific response!

    You have touched on a few key elements here, and what strikes me is that no leader is an island. True, there is self-leadership (just as there is self-management) however the leadership we all commonly refer to affects so many, and no leader can take a truly promising, innovative idea to fruition without the ability to "lead" well by engaging other people effectively and supportively.

    Your statements about a respect for truth (i.e. with honesty and in good feedback) and strengths-directed delegation are right on the mark for all of us who manage with aloha, as the ever-forward thinking we must learn and continually improve upon.

  • At 12:07 PM, Blogger Phil Gerbyshak said…

    "Leading without followers" is certainly not possible, to be sure. The greatest leader, if stuck on an island alone, would accomplish next to nothing. A great leader, with even only one great follower, can do much more than they both could do alone. That's the real power of synergy.

    Engaging others can be tough, as evidenced by many recent studies that show that over 60% of the workforce is disengaged. Managing with aloha gives us the framework to make this all work.


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