Leading from the Front with Four
Ground Floor : Leadership & Management
It’s nearing mid summer in the northern hemisphere; recently, we celebrated national Ice Cream Day! Many have favorite flavors of this delish dessert; this holds true for leadership, too.
Paraphrasing a Supreme Court justice: ‘We know leadership when we see it.” , yet we all don’t ‘see’ the same thing, since we view business through our own experiences, lenses, & mindset.
Further, let’s push a related theme up for thoughtful discussion:
Leadership & management are NOT differing flavors; instead, they are two landmasses, separated by a gigantic ocean. We realize this while standing on the ground floor; now, let’s climb up a metaphorical ziggurat for a panoramic view.
Position, power, experience, credentials …?
On level 1 & 2 of our ziggurat, we start separating the wheat from the chaff; this act drives big answers , bringing us closer to leading from the front.
Q> Are any of the below characteristics necessary for organic leadership?
Seniority / experience
Power \ Authority
A> None are truly required. For a positional leader, they might bring benefit in a company’s hierarchy; however, in a free enterprise entrepreneurial business, they’d likely delay professional development.
Q>> Does leadership necessitate a certain type of business structure?
A>> No. Most structures ‘tell‘ us that an established business has an uneven field; you’ve built a ladder for your staff to climb up a pyramidal hierarchy, &/or you’ve not empowered them to address deep issues, like customer service, in your workplace, putting a collar on their ability to organically lead.
Bottom Up > Top down ; front > back
Take note, founders: if you’re one, put yourself out front, clearing roadblocks so your staff can be most effective in building a better workplace for the betterment of all.
— Theodore Roosevelt
Q >>> What to do in situations where staff engagement, customer service, &/or client retention are below par?
A >>> Leverage this call to action using a ‘Test of 3’
Lifelong learning culture – adopt one
Reassess motivation & how you measure it.
First of 4 Flavors : Thought
Your climb up our ziggurat continues! Any of 4 could be next, as we aren’t building a rigid hierarchy; instead, you’re encouraged to visually sketch out this post’s content to better grasp these principles.
A thought leader leads from the front by sharing learned wisdom, stories, & a vision for the future with her staff, fellow entrepreneurs, & her tribe.
She might call herself a futurist, a disrupter, or an innovator. No matter the lingo, she oft comes up with fresh ways to address persistent business problems.
Second of Four : Replicative
I thoughtfully ask you to expand your mind, furthering the case that this ‘flavor’ is imperative for all types of businesses, regardless of size, industry, or age.
A replicative leader seeks to replace herself; no longer is she indispensable; she’s begun, or accelerated her ability, to work ON her business & no longer IN it, becoming dispensable.
Third of 4 : Servant
Yet, sole proprietors & entrepreneurs with staff, especially those who’ve come from corporate backgrounds, each have big adjustments in unlearning positional leadership & replacing w/ servant leadership’s unwavering principles.
Allow yourself to challenge assumptions, dismissing nostalgia & past credentials earned, as you realize that serving first gives you rich tools to lead from the front, flipping hierarchy upside down.
Fourth of Four : Conscious
Leadership done well is often a lonely path. Engaging mind, soul, & spirit is far stronger than merely one. Thus, being conscious about leading yourself & others enables infinitely more progress in your business culture, while concurrently helping you buck societal winds regarding capitalism.
Rarely are we taught that free enterprise & capitalism are very different concepts. Those who become conscious leaders better grasp this truism & cultivate a business that embraces the former.
Organizations dedicated to this flavor of bottom-up leadership often hold gatherings in your local area; seek them out & turn their events into networking opportunities.
Suggested Social Follows :
Dig for more gold — it’s 1849 all over again!
This blog is a drop of water into a deep sea. Be a modern day gold prospector & start a new rush!
In short :
- Ground floor
- Characteristics of leadership
- Test of 3 – CTA
- Thought & Replicative
- Servant & Conscious
- Social follows
- There’s a vast universe to explore
Thank YOU for reading!
SJ Barakony is a serial entrepreneur, futurist, & connector.
He lives in Ohio & is the Founder of Service Before Self Leadership: An Educational Solutions Provider.
He offers four highly customizable solutions to encourage families, individuals, faith institutions, & business owners to create & cultivate lifelong learning cultures in our homes & workplaces.
He’s been a guest on an educational podcast; been interviewed for an online small business community; is a guest blogger for Innovate NA; and has been an invited speaker five separate times for HECOA.
He believes strongly in youth & social entrepreneurship: He continues to serve two chapters of the YEA program (student mentor, mock judge, ad hoc consultant ) & has co-facilitated a session of the SeaChange Accelerator program.
He also recently became an educational advisor for Tessr.io, a startup in the exciting world of blockchain/cryptocurrencies that will be establishing a cutting edge educational foundation.