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Piece #34 - Leadership

If you've had the opportunity to read any of my blogs, you might have noticed that there were many times in my life that I would thrust myself into the role of the leader. It's been peppered all through out my different postings, from scouting to teaching. I guess the question would have to be 'Why am I greatly drawn to a leadership position when I try to avoid people and conflict?!!!! Arrrrrrr!' Very frustrating! It doesn't seem to make any sense. I guess I could think of it like an 'arm chair quarterback', I would gripe about how things should be; but I actually want to do something about it. It seems like I feel compelled to step up and do the job, rather than simply complain.

In its simplest form, I'm the leader of the house...or at least that is what my wife wants me to think. She does a lot of backdoor deals that I tend to be unaware of. When there is life or limb on the line, I'm usually the one who makes the final decision...storms, emergencies and things like that. The Bible does say that I'm the spiritual leader and I will have to answer to the Lord about myself and my family. (Now THERE'S pressure for you!!!) It had always been my dream to be a husband and a father when I was growing up, I'm really glad Jaimee said 'yes'. Being the father of the house can be taxing in the leadership position to be honest; weighting out the decisions can be exhausting. I guess in the end it will be all worth it.

Just briefly, I've already spoken about my time in scouting as a leader; being a part of the Leadership Corp., an Assistance Senior Patrol Leader and even President of the Eagle post. (I'm still proud of the snow ski trip we planned for in Nebraska...that was a lot of fun!) I learned quite a bit about the ups and downs of leadership and the consequences of decisions that didn't go as planned. I don't think I'd ever trade the experience I gained from the scouts.

My first taste of dramatic leadership in the theater was when I was an assistant director in high school. The musical was Little Shop of Horrors and I had the chance to observe closely my director (teacher) to what it took to do the job. I did my best to help assist the actors in their performance with the training I had, so trying to instruct your peers was rather nerve racking. I don't ever remember having any issues with any particular student. In all, I'm forever thankful to Mr. Pope for the chance to do that job.

I guess the best transition would be to discuss my leadership as a director. My first time directing came in college. It was a directing class and we were required to cast and direct a play. Once I graduated, I got the chance to direct in high schools and it was a lot of fun. As the leader, I was responsible for all the students, the set, the tickets, promotion, security, the production and so on. Being a director can be very overwhelming! I have had offers to direct plays in small theaters here in town, but I was afraid it would put a strain on the family. Directing is like coaching, there are a lot of responsibilities and being the family leader can take a serious hit. I would still love to direct a small play in a theater, but that dream will have to wait another day. Right now I'm not involved in any drama whatsoever so I guess a break would be nice.

I've never been asked this, but I think answering this possible question would be adequate at this point would suffice. "What makes a good leader?" An excellence question, I'm glad you asked! : ) First, a good leader needs to listen to what his/her people are saying to them. This is one of the most critical attributes a leader needs because it gives the people that your leading self-worth and putting their share into the team. Second, a good leader must consider all the options before making a decision. The only danger here is missing any options that might be overlooked; that's why for this second one, it is critical to make sure you've covered all your bases. Third, a good leader must understand that their not always going to be popular. If you want to win a beauty contest, being a leader is not the way to go. It's like how the old saying goes, "You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can't please all the people all the time." Not everyone is going to like you or your decisions, it's just what is best for the group over all. Fourth, a good leader must care about the team members and realize they all look to you for guidance. This is more than simply talking and listening, it goes deeper to a point of a personal relationship and I believe if this is achieved; the teamwork really begins to fully run to its potential. I will admit, there are times that it's best to step away for a little while.

Song of Inspiration [Check it out on iTunes!]:

Song: "Lift Me Up"

Artist: The Afters

Album: Light Up The Sky

Here's the video for the selected music:

This was the gang at Disneyland. The best leaders are the ones that are not always in the picture, but are always there to guide the group.

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