Being A Leader   Leave a comment


Diverse GMU people all put together into a square.

Diverse GMU people all put together into a square. (Photo credit: KellyCDB)

This morning the Disney Institute posted this blog post on Facebook.  The title of the post is 3 Signs You Are Meant To Be A Leader and it was written by Les McKeown.  The first thing that caught my eye is something that I have come to believe, “Not everyone is cut out to be a leader.”  In a nation where many people strive to create a “level playing field,” I think that we often overlook the fact that we have all been created differently and are unique.  We all do not have the same skills and abilities.  That was never part of the original design.  Instead, each person was given skills and abilities that are specific to them.  It is when we combine this varied skills and abilities that we have the perfect group of people to handle life.  Like the old axiom states:  The sum is greater than the parts.  Yet, how often in an attempt to create a sense of equality among people do we place people in roles that they are definitely not equipped and gifted to manage?

I do believe that every person has the ability to learn.  We can create individuals that can survive in a position in which they are not equipped to be.  But this is a great service to the individual and to the organization.  As the writer of the post comments, they are less than effective in the position.  Many times they are frustrated and quickly burn out.  If they do not burn out they may act out by being irritable or even aggressive towards others.  The organization often flounders under their leadership and may lose members or be unsuccessful in their projects.

Let me be clear; every person has a valuable position in every organization.  The value of that person is not based on a hierarchy of roles.  Every role is necessary if the organization is going to be successful.  So the title of the role is far less important as the person’s abilities and gifts that she/he bring to the role which they have.

Paul seemed to make this abundantly clear when he was writing to the church in Corinth.  In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul talks about the various gifts that the people have in the community.  He points out how the individuals work together for the betterment of the community.  He also points out how one part cannot be successful without the others and that all have a vital role.  This is how each individual and each community of people were designed.  Diversity in the midst of unity.

In addition to a diversity of roles, there is diversity in the types of individuals needed in each role.  As an example, the role of a leader can have a large variety of ways in which that role is executed.  Different organizations and different situations require different types of leaders.  There needs to be a matching of what type of leader is needed just as much as a matching of the individuals having the right gifts and abilities to be a leader in the first place.

So let’s stop assuming that everyone should have an equal opportunity for every role.  Let’s stop placing people in positions which they are not a healthy fit.  Let’s stop trying to make everyone the same.  Instead, let’s acknowledge the diversity and the need for diversity within an organization or group of people.  Let’s identify the gifts and abilities of the person and determine where those gifts and abilities will do the most good.  Let’s celebrate each role and each person without a hierarchy of importance.  When we combine these different parts (roles), we will have the ability to achieve great things.

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