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Oct 12

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Are any of us Leaders?

The quality of political debate in Australia is now so appalling that even the most partisan of protagonists must be appalled at the performance of our politicians.

There is a hunger for authentic leadership and a weariness with self-serving MPs whose vision for their country fails to extend beyond short-term political expediency.  There is a thirst for moral leadership and a longing for statesmanship that puts principles before popularity.

Whilst recognising that no one is perfect and that ‘all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’, there is an expectation that our representatives of the people should model those behaviours that ennoble rather than degrade.  But many don’t.  Given there is a moral ambiguity in our nation, perhaps we should not be surprised.  Our representatives of the people are just that – representatives of the people.  We get the politicians we deserve.  To this end, we all might benefit from reassessing our leadership skills:

  • Are we able to lead ourselves?  Are we able to take control our lives in a manner that realises appropriate goals and enriches the community in which we live?
  • Are we able to show leadership in the home?  To what extent are we, as parents, modelling those values we want in our children?
  • Are we able to demonstrate leadership at work – to show initiative and influence productivity in a positive way?

When we point the finger of accusation at our politicians, it is as well to remember where the other fingers of our hand are pointing.

You are a leader if someone else is following.  You are a leader if you are an influence.  Lots of people like to describe themselves as leaders, but are not.  They may be managers and do useful and necessary tasks related to organising things, but they are not necessarily leaders.  Leadership has to do with initiative, creativity and inspiration.  It is not necessarily about bureaucracy and administration.  Management is more to do with the head, whereas leadership is more to do with the heart.

Leadership is not for the feint-hearted.  If you are going to do leadership properly, it is hard work.

  • The easy bit of leadership is to use your gifts for the betterment of oneself. The hard bit of leadership is to use your gifts for the betterment of others.
  • The easy bit of leadership is to wear the badge. The hard bit of leadership is to deserve the badge.
  • The easy bit of leadership is to do what is popular. The hard bit of leadership is to do what is right.
  • The easy bit of leadership is to deal with policy. The hard bit of leadership is to deal with people.
  • The easy bit of leadership is to enjoy its success. The hard bit of leadership is to endure its failure.
  • The easy bit of leadership is to follow consensus, the hard bit of leadership is to follow conviction.
  • The easy bit of leadership is administration. The hard bit of leadership is inspiration.
  • The easy bit of leadership is to judge others. The hard bit of leadership is to judge yourself.

Yes – our politicians need to lift their game when it comes to leadership – but perhaps we all should.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.timhawkes.com/are-any-of-us-leaders/

4 comments

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  1. Peter McClenaghan

    Tim
    this is spot on.
    I am preparing to talk to some students and graduates from my university (New England0 in Sydney this Wednesday and cannot think of a more relevant framework to base my talk.
    Of course, underlying each of your statements is the complexity of self and life. But, leadership will never emerge by pointing fingers at others. Well said.
    Regards
    Peter

  2. Rob Winch

    Tim

    Great article

    I’ve found in business to many times ‘so called managers’ take the easy way …

    Someone once said –

    ‘A manager is somebody who does things right ~ a leader is the person who does the right things’

    Success Always

    Rob

  3. Great to hear from you Rob. Love your quote. Blessings, Tim.

  4. Life and Leadership are certainly complex. Glad to know you found my comments helpful. All power to you with your work at New England University. Blessings, Tim.

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