There are a lot of great leadership experts out there, but I don’t think anyone is contributing as much to the pool of knowledge right now as Godin. I love to read work by Seth Godin. That is one sharp dude. Recently I was reading his work and I came across this quote:
“The secret to leadership is simple: do what you believe in.”
This made me stop for a moment and think, “what does that mean for leadership development”? We’d all really love to know the secret to great leadership, wouldn’t we? Further, if we knew that secret than wouldn’t it stand to reason that leadership development would become that much easier? Simply teach the secret to others so they can also become leaders. Spread the secret and watch leadership climb to new heights all over the world. Probably a bit idealistic.
The truth here is that Godin is right, but the statement is dangerous. Consider the implications here for organizations attempting to develop leaders: if we accept that the secret to leadership is doing something you believe in than this puts the responsibility back on organizations to be worth believing in. To be worth leading.
Is your organization worth leading?
That’s a powerful thought, isn’t it? Your organization has got to be worth believing in to really unlock the power of leadership potential. We can do all we want to develop great leaders, but we can’t forget that we have to offer something worth leading. Might I submit to organizational senior leaders that creating a culture of leadership is really about creating a culture of caring and creating an organization of purpose? Surely there are concrete things to be learned to become a great leader. I fully subscribe to the thought that we can teach leadership. We can’t teach purpose though. We can develop leadership skills, but the secret to leadership is engaging in something you believe in. Maybe your organization needs to become worth believing in. Maybe that’s the secret to unlocking your leadership potential fully.