I used to believe that being a leader meant being the person who has all the awesome ideas and guides other people to make those ideas happen.
Now I believe being a leader means being the person who helps other people formulate awesome ideas and supports them to make them happen.
Which is to say, if you want to be an excellent leader, you have to be willing to accept that your ideas have to start taking a back seat to other peoples' ideas when you're on the clock (working).
But "Oh no!" you say, "I'm a leader, I have awesome ideas, and other people should rally to support my ideas. That's what I'm paid for!"
Fine. Go ahead and be that kind of leader. See how far it'll get you. My guess is that won't be very far, though, because nobody really wants to follow with passion the kind of leader who bends and manipulates other people to make their own ideas happen all the time.
Yes, I know that this sort of crazy leadership talk is pushing back against most of what's been engrained in us regarding leadership since as far back as we can remember— the visionary idea man in the ivory tower vs. what I'm I'm pitching here, which is the conductor who's looking at his musicians in the eye — but I think people these days are more likely to follow with passion the kind of leader that says, "What are your ideas and how can I support you to make those happen?" as compared to the person who's all about their ideas and nobody elses'.
Well, at least that's the kind of leader I'd like to follow. What about you?