There are two kind of leaders:
1. Leaders who inspire leadership; and
2. Leaders who inspire slavery.
I have had the experience of working with leaders who inspire leadership and under leaders who inspire slavery. Please pay attention to the way I’ve used the words ‘with’ and ‘under’ in my last sentence as that speak volumes about the two leadership styles.
A slavery inspiring leadership creates a stress stimulating environment under which one seldom sees an opportunity to grow. Under such leadership, all employees focus their energy on pleasing their leader. A leadership inspiring leadership creates a creativity stimulating environment. Under such leadership, people can function as a community and focus their energy on actually doing their work the best way instead of spending their time to please their leader.
Leaders who inspire slavery are narcissist. Such leaders have a superiority-inferiority complexion and derive their self-worth from their possessions, social influence and how people treat them. Such leaders are also bullies. Do you know why a bully bullies? Bullies bully to feel powerful and in control. While most think that bullies bully because they have been bullied, everyone who gets bullied does not become a bully. Bullies do not process their emotions well. A slavery inspiring leader confuses employment with ownership. Under such leadership, employees never feel as though they’re a part of the organisation and the leader does his/her bit to ensure that his/her employees know that they’re just employees of the organisation. Such leaders are trainers.
Leaders who inspire leadership are empathetic and have a high self-esteem. Such leaders offer people space to grow and are unafraid of the competition that other’s growth would bring along. Such leaders are willing to delegate responsibilities as they are aware of the potential and limitations of themselves and others. Such leaders are inclusive and make everyone working with them feel just as much a part of the organisation as the leader himself/herself is. Such leaders are educators.
Leaders set the tone of and culture at their organisation. Often, the culture of an organisation is but a reflection of the values of its leader(s). However, it’s important to realise that a leader does not have to be in a leadership position to lead. Everyone in an organisation has the power to inspire change. Often, the ones who are worthy of a leadership position are those who can lead without a title. A true leader is aware of and exercises his/her ability to inspire change.
I’d love to know your opinion on this subject. So, if you’re reading this, do comment on the post.