On Leadership

by Scott Noelle

True leadership is an expression of PARTNERSHIP...

  • Parent-Child
  • Teacher-Student
  • Employer-Employee
  • Doctor-Patient
  • Director-Performer

These are leader-follower relationships that thrive when both leaders AND followers OWN their power and reject the notion that one has power over the other — when both are committed to SERVING the purpose of the partnership, such as growth, education, production, wellness, or art.

(Aside: Children are innately “committed” to growing and learning, but not necessarily according to their parents’ and teachers’ preconceived notions of HOW children should grow and learn.)

When parents, teachers, employers, doctors, or directors demand power over their followers — when they forget that their power to lead is on loan from their followers — they cease being leaders and start to become tyrants or bullies.

The way back to authentic leadership is through humility and realigning with the higher purposes of the leader-follower partnership.

The distinction between leader and follower becomes less and less significant as BOTH partners demonstrate the qualities of true leaders AND empowered followers.

Originally published on 2013-01-03
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