the blog Synergy

Saturday, March 25, 2006

What Great Leading is not

As we roll into the last week of March, I must thank all of you for jumping in to the discussion on my questions on what Great Leading is, exactly.
“Great Leading” means what, exactly?
Our Great Leading Index there has grown to twenty-one more postings, with a wealth of more comments within them!

Your answers have stimulated some new thinking for me. I’m challenging myself to be the leader others expect me to be (and they say so) yet I have also come to realize that they are very kind. They are patient, perhaps overly so, and I have to challenge myself even further, striving higher.
[In our language of intention when Managing with Aloha, we call this Kūlia i ka nu‘u.]

In particular, I will admit to this: Tim Milburn’s counter challenge continues to gnaw at me. I have had another post in draft since the same day Tim responded to this question,
“And I wonder, what must Great Leading begin to look like in the blogosphere?” yet here we are three weeks later, and despite my reading over it and editing it nearly every single day since, I have not been happy enough with my own answer to pull it out of drafts and post it. Tim may not have intended his response to be a counter challenge, yet that is how I have taken it for my own blogs, Talking Story, and [Read Tim’s post again here, or on his own blog,]

My post will happen, but I am no longer restricting myself to the window of this month’s time, for I will not post it until I am satisfied with an answer that stirs me to greater actions. I find I am living with this peculiar mixture of patience and urgency as I consider it— that alone is new for me, for I have never sat well with patience.

I think I can muster my patience because other ventures have been so rewarding. Like right here. When it comes to blog Synergy, I have been renewed and reinvigorated this month.

We have a new look (and knowing Troy as we all do, we know we can look forward to more new looks over time ;-) and we have a renewed commitment from all who are part of Team Synergy to take this blog where we may not have gone before. What has made it to the blog this month in the form of our posting, is but a small fraction of what we have been cooking in the background off the blog for you. The extraordinary gentlemen I am so honored to have on Team Synergy with me create deep wells of energy for us to play in and be rejuvenated by constantly.

All of this has caused me to reflect on something else, and that is, what Great Leading is not. Great Leading is not going it alone. I’m so glad.

Here, and in synergy, following great leadership becomes joyful co-leading. Truly, the power of we.


  • At 6:53 PM, Blogger Rocky said…

    This question of leadership is fascinating. It is one of those things that you can always improve upon. great leaders can continue to grow and get better. It is a constantly evolving practice. It is the human interaction that makes it so wonderful. Good stuff. Keep it going!

  • At 6:17 AM, Blogger Troy Worman said…

    Wow! FANTASTIC job, Rosa, leading us through the month of March. I appreciate all the work you put into the blog Synergy this month. I know we are all the better for it.

  • At 1:24 PM, Blogger timage said…

    Ahhh...a twist - what great leading is not!! I'm going to take a stab at this one with a seemingly simplistic observation, but hopefully I can unpack it a little bit in this comment.

    I believe that great leading is not great following.

    I am more convinced than ever that technology is providing more and more ways for us to package and RE-package information. It allows us to take content from a variety of sources and put it together in a way that no one else has done it before.

    This is a RE-mix generation. RE-edit, RE-make, RE-organize! When we discover something that works or someone who is successful, we find ways to do it our own way. For example, the Ipod is the leader in the MP3, Photo, and now Video digital media player industry. They have created the best, beautifully designed, and most user-friendly way for people to RE-store all of their media in one place. They are the leader (how many people have a RIO?) and there are many others following them (with their own digital media players or with accessories for the Ipod).

    I think I move from a great follower to a great leader when others start copying what I'm doing.

    Rudy Giuliani always looked to Winston Churchill as a great leader, wondering how he had responded during crisis. So when Giuliani's opportunity came, he put the Churchill book down and went out led by example and the City of New York followed. Giuliani took the lessons that Churchill had learned and RE-invested those in his own leadership style and produced something that people could depend on when they needed it most.

    During the Katrina crisis people said there was no one like "a Giuliani" who stepped up to take the lead. He even wrote a book called (appropriately titled) "Leadership."

    Great followers learn how to copy what great leaders are doing. Great leaders produce and become something worth copying.

  • At 8:52 PM, Blogger Rosa Say said…

    I agree Rocky, I think we will continue to talk about leadership for quite some time, and more than that, we will demonstrate it!

    Thank you Troy, however this was not work at all!

    Fascinating Tim. It is turning out to be such great fun how our thoughts are colliding on certain things.

    I was listening to an audio book today that took the business world by storm when it came out in 2001, and I found myself thinking about why after all the hype it created, you don't hear much anymore about the suggestions it attempted to lead us with. I'm not mentioning the book's name, because in a way it doesn't matter; the same could be said for a wealth of good reads available to us.

    Could it be, that we are content to follow for a while, but if an idea truly does excite us, we will REinvest, REmix and REpackage it eventually, REshaping it somehow into something we can call our own, something we can begin to lead with?

    That can be a good thing, however I still must wonder how much we are discarding in our independence, REinventing the wheel which is perfectly fine as it is.
    ...this from somehow who loves the word REinvent (as you know :-)

  • At 1:28 AM, Blogger Rocky said…

    Great leading is not sticking to the status quo.

  • At 6:56 AM, Blogger Trevor Gay said…

    Great leading is NOT:

    *Always agreeing
    *Being 'hard' - all truly great leaders care more about 'the soft stuff'
    *'Distance' from people doing the work at the front line

    This is a wonderful way tov appraoich leaderhip Rosa - really makes us think!

  • At 7:21 PM, Blogger Phil Gerbyshak said…

    Great leading is not:
    *boldly declaring you're the leader and forcing others to follow you;
    *thumping your chest;
    *for everyone;
    *always being right;
    *racing to the top of the corporate ladder and stepping on everyone's toes and faces on the way up;
    *always safe.

    It's tough being a leader a lot of the time, but if you love the people you serve, you'll have a much better time of it, and you'll be able to sleep at night knowing you made the best decision for your team.


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