Day 248: Leaders Are The Ones People Follow On Purpose

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In the master's hand, the clear voice of the instrument calls us.

“Excellence is a better teacher than mediocrity. The lessons of the ordinary are everywhere. Truly profound and original insights are to be found only in studying the exemplary.”  Warren G. Bennis

People watchers understand life differently.  When we’re willing to stop and learn from others, we gain perspective.  Watching people can be entertaining.

Here are a few types I have enjoyed watching over the past few years.

Those who think they know it all – It’s been fun to see those put in positions where they don’t belong.  During re-organization, it’s a little funny to watch people scramble for positions.  It’s about as pathetic as Haman in the Bible who became power-hungry and ended up making a noose for himself.  When these types come around to teach “the underlings” how to do something, they don’t realize what others really think of them.

Those who lead unintentionally – I’m always impressed with those who just do their thing in the right way.  They have the Midas touch.  Whatever they approach, turns to gold.  They aren’t trying to lead, they’re just fun, capable, and followable.  They are the real leaders in the group.  Whatever they do, the rest of the group does with them.

The excellent who lift us to another level – I’m not easily impressed, but when someone proves themselves to be excellent, I look in their direction.  I am grateful to know a few of these excellent people.  One has risen to the height of our country in jazz piano.  Any jazz player or singer here says his name loudly.  I’ve also had the joy of working with several excellent artists.  Excellence is like a light that shines.  It cannot be hidden.  If we can’t be them, it’s still nice to know them.

What kind of leaders are we following?  If we’re wasting our time following after something or somebody who is not both a natural leader and a person of excellence, I’d say we need to be looking in a different direction.

What kinds of leaders impress you?

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