What are you searching for?
For me it’s a way to maximise my positive impact. Preferably in collaboration with others. I love that! It’s my passion.
So building community is a natural extension of that. And allows me to use my leadership skills to good effect. My corporate career gave me great opportunities to practice my collaborative leadership.
And when all of this works like a well-oiled machine is when I feel most present and in-flow in my life. But I don’t have to be the leader to enjoy that feeling.
I remember way back when I was a musician (a very short-lived career, but my first degree was in music). Back at high school I was in band, ensemble, orchestra rehearsal every morning before school, some lunch times, every afternoon after school, a few evenings during the week and often on weekends for extra rehearsals ramping up to performances and competitions which took more time on top of all of that! How did I get any study done? Well, honestly, I didn’t. Oops.
But I loved being a part of these groups. When I was playing my part, in harmony with everyone else.
Sometimes I’d get my chance to lead, my part would be featured, more prominent or soloed. And other times I just played my part and backed up other leaders in the group.
And yet there was always a leader standing at the front, the conductor. The conductor was responsible for leading in-the-moment during performances and rehearsals, giving feedback to the team and improving the performance of the teak as a whole. But they are also responsible for strategy, between rehearsals, picking performances and commitments and repertoire to perform. They also have to manage the relationships and dynamics in the team, promote and demote team members, fire up and inspire the team to set their nerves aside and bring their best.
In particular, I was incredibly inspired and influenced by Greg Aitken, who led the Brisbane Brass band I was a part of for over 10 years. I learned so much about positive, authentic and constructive leadership from observing and speaking with him. We would drive to and from rehearsals together and over time we got to talking about leading the group and the strategies for where the band was headed.
In fact over the years I’ve often played that role of #2, or the “first follower”. And it’s in that role that I champion and lead business owners now to support them in setting their vision and even having a vision for them and where I know they can reach.
So there are different ways to be a leader and to be a part of something awesome. Something greater than ourselves. Something worthwhile and meaningful!
We can be a great team member who knows when to take the lead and when to follow. We can be the leader at the top, making the hard decisions. Or we can be a incredible ‘first follower’ who leads and supports the leader above.
What I’d love to hear from you is, what’s your preferred leadership style? And what’s your passion and purpose? What fires you up?