Today is Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Yesterday at 7 pm est, I joined a weekly special #tweetchat on Twitter for the first time, #LeadWithGiants. It was a lot of fun. Felt like I was back in school! Being the newbie I thought I would just be a listener and occasionally chime in…well, at least that was my intention:) I found it hard to keep quiet, especially after Dan Forbes (as in Mr. #LeadWithGiants), reached out to me in such a welcoming fashion, as he does to all. His humble, outgoing attitude is replicated by the other leaders in the chat and this adds to an open, dare I say, nurturing atmosphere (teacher speak, bear with me).
The topic at hand was ‘consensus,’ and everything that goes with it: finding common ground, the traits of effective leaders, the size of teams being led, orchestrating through differing politics, titles, departments, challenges, participation by all, solution-focused mindsets and last but not least, sustaining an environment where individual thought is still valuable and impacting in the face of consensus amongst team members.
Giving much food for thought I think and feel back to my use of ‘storytelling’ on Twitter. We take on and give away parts of ourselves to each other, much like trying on clothes. Like kid’s role-playing at a young age. I remember that I always wanted to be a firefighter, for example. Aside from liking the color red a lot, the leadership qualities of a life of service flesh out best when all members of a team feel valued. This means that each unique voice is treated with deep respect and a stick-to-itiveness to being caring of hearts over a particular point or challenge.
As an Educator I know too well that we live to fight another day in the classroom when we hold on to the penchant that we take care of our relationships more so than looking for momentary victory in a matter. After the moment is past, people’s hearts, even as young as infants, recall how they felt in your presence. Yes, you know it is coming…’people may not remember all that you said… but they remember how they FELT in your presence.’ The heart does not forget. So in essence, we create bridges that keep us connected when we acknowledge that beyond consensus is the importance of ensuring lovingkindness rules the day.
This is true even in the grittiest of circumstances. For example, my late-father was the right-hand man of an army general back in his day. 101st Airborne Rangers are built to be tough as nails, to be lethal weapons in their own right and to have a super-initiative mindset whereby all in the team are leaders. True, there was a clearly designated leader in the battalion, yet those who train armies understand all too well that you only lead yourself into the pit if you don’t have the heart following of the soldiers.
To that end, far from sitting down and reading pretty poetry to each other, the Screaming Eagles, as these elite soldiers are called, intrinsically get that you lead people best when you put yourself in service to them.. down on the ground and with the perspective that the battalion consensus operates best when the atmosphere is one where all are expected to lead. This takes a certain degree of gentleness, toughness, lowliness and lovingkindness!
Go out and lead in service with your heart on your sleeve for all to see!