Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Dancing is just discovery, discovery, discovery." Martha Graham

The more I study, and write about, and think about, and try to practice leadership the more I see the ways in which leadership is a form of dancing. We use many of the same words, leading, following, partnership just to name a few. The quote above is just one about dancing which works equally well when the word leading is substituted for dancing. - Leading is just discovery, discovery, discovery - discovery about organizations, about people and most of all about oneself.

When I facilitate a workshop on leadership, I start by explaining the basic concepts that inform my thinking about the topic, so it makes sense to start this blog in the same way.

1st - Everyone has the potential to be a leader. Some of us seek it out, some of us are asked to take on the role, but for all of us when there is something we care about, some way we see the chance to make a difference and we decide to try, we will begin to realize our individual potential for leadership. Some of us come to it more easily than others, and we all can work to learn and improve our skills, but all of us have the potential for leadership.

2nd - Leadership is a relationship not a job or position. Leaders need followers or there is no one to lead. Therefore, contrary to some opinions, followers aren't sheep or drones but are an essential part of effective leadership. Additionally, all of us serve as followers at times no matter what titles we might have. The interaction between someone acting as a leader and someone acting as a follower is leadership as a relationship.

3rd - Healthy organizations have leaders throughout the organization. Leadership is not dependent on title or position and a healthy organization supports and develops leaders continually.

4th - All of us are creative beings. Creativity is an essential skill for leaders and it is at least as important to foster and support creativity as it is to develop leadership.

5th - It's possible to create healthy organizations that support leaders, followers, creativity and the human spirit and fulfill the purpose for which the organization exists.

In my work, my teaching and now in this blog I enjoy exploring the many ways in which we can grow healthy organizations, develop effective leaders, support strong followers, foster creativity and engage our spirit in all that we do. I look forward to hearing what others have to say about these ideas and hope together we can improve organizational life for all of us. After all, the reality is that everything we do is "just discovery, discovery, discovery."

Keep on dancing,


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