Over the years I have written a number of posts on leadership and from the robust discussions that followed the vocal majority in agriculture seem to prefer the notion leaders are born not made.
I am currently attending a number of courses/events that pitch themselves as Leadership Courses
It will be hard for them to trump one of the best experiences of my life yesterday which was attending (with 1500 other people ) the Simon Sinek “Start with Why” Leadership forum .
As Simon quite rightly shared with us
“how can we aspire to be a leader when we cant all agree what leadership is?”
Donna Digby who bought 18 women in the agriculture sector a combined 20,000 km to Melbourne to hear their hero Simon speak is the perfect example of the definition of leadership Simon promotes.
As the motivational speaker and author explained, it really boils down to three things: selflessness, empathy, and an ability to manage anxiety on your team. Here is a look at each trait, and why it is so valuable for you to cultivate.
People like to be around people they trust–it’s as simple as that. “Humans are constantly assessing people and organizations around them, and if they feel they’re selfish, they’ll keep a safe distance,” said Sinek. On the other hand, people tend to want to associate with people and brands characterised by an element of selflessness. Creating that human connection–building trust-is key, though it does take time. Just remember: You’re responsible for setting that tone, Sinek warned. “When the environment is one of a leader who [will] sacrifice, the way people respond is by sacrificing in return. Being a leader is a lifestyle decision; it means you’re willing to take care of others.”
Speaking of taking care of others, Sinek added, “the more we do good for each other, the more we want to do good for each other.” He recounted the time he picked up loose papers for a man when he saw them slip out of his bag. The man was grateful, but Sinek said his actions went further than that. They motivated someone who saw them to do something kind. Kindness begets kindness, Sinek went on. It’s holding the door for someone, making a new pot of coffee, and letting someone into your lane. Putting others ahead of yourself-“that is the practice of leadership,” he said.
3. Grace under fire
Stress and anxiety are enough to make people dishonest and to sabotage their performance at work. When your body is flooded with cortisol, or the chemical that produces anxiety, “you biologically restrict empathy and trust,” Sinek said. Don’t be that kind of boss–if you’re the one inducing fear and anxiety in your employees, you’re never going to have their trust. The solution is clear: Work on managing your own stress and “be the leader you wish you had,” he said. Your team will appreciate it. Source
Simon compared being a leader to being a parent.
‘You accept the responsibility for the growth of another human being, often making many thankless sacrifices. Leadership is a hard gig and its not for the faint of heart.’
Wonderful #sketchnote summary of Simon’s talk by the very talented Matthew Magain
As I watch a lot of the current nastiness on Twitter particularly in the dairy industry I am so saddened to see far too many people creating a toxic environment where people don’t feel safe and the bullies rule. Its time for us all to become leaders and see our role as nurturers of others and get our buzz not from the hurt generated but take pride in the growth and confidence building of others. Its time to get high on watching others thrive
The TED talk that made Simon a legend