The Community of Leadership
Leadership Requires a Community
Most of us know that you have to have a community to be a leader. But most people take that in the sense of, if there is nobody to follow, then leadership isn’t really a thing. In essence, if you are the only one around, who is there to lead? But the community of leadership goes a little deeper than that.
Too often we see leaders as the top, and everyone else below them. Those are the leaders reinforced into our minds when we are taught about them: Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Ghandi, Mother Theresa, and the like. They were individuals who took a stand.
When we look at the whole of leadership, however, we see a different picture.
Begin in the Community
The truly great leaders aren’t the individuals that get up and make bold proclamations. The great leaders are the ones that begin in the community. They have an intimate relationship with the community, and they understand the needs and the wants of the people. Their actions and their leadership are dictated by what they see in, feel with, and do for the community.
Going back to Nelson Mandela; where did his leadership come from? It came from his father who would sit down with all the community and tribal leaders, and be silent. He would take mental notes on the needs and wants of each representative, and finally at the end of the meeting they would ask Mr. Mandela what he saw. He could then carefully dissect the needs, create bonds, and tie it all together. He wasn’t making loud proclamations based on his vision; he was making suggestions and bringing groups together based on their visions.
Act with the Community
When we think of the great leaders, we often choose to ignore those we consider to be bad people. For instance, Adolf Hitler was a phenomenal leader. Now that doesn’t mean his motives were pure, or the result of his decisions were justified, but his abilities were top notch.
During his time in power, Hitler was able to rally the German people. He worked with the community to restore a sense of German pride. During a time when the German people felt they were being oppressed, bullied, or looked down on by the rest of the world, Hitler was able to rally the troops and put up a really good fight against his oppressors.
Looking back we can see the results of good leadership that took people in the wrong direction.
How about good leadership that went in the right direction? John F. Kennedy was able to do in the US what Hitler did in Germany, but with a purer motive. He was able to restore a sense of national pride by working with the community. He was able to put out a call to action and have the people take ownership because he worked with the community to accomplish what they wanted.
Act for the Community
Leaders are in a position of power because they have the support of the people. Therefore, they have an obligation to act for the community rather than for themselves. Too often in US politics we see people rise to power promising to act for the community, and then ultimately act for themselves. These politicians generally have short-lived careers.
A successful leader bases decisions on what is best for the community.
Big Sky Collision Center Trains Leaders
Here at Big Sky Collision Center, our goal is that everyone who works here becomes an outstanding leader. Within our own community, and within the community of Billings. By remembering the In, With, For, we can strive to use our influence to make the world a better place.
And we just happen to be good at fixing cars.