Anyone who has seen the movie Finding Nemo remembers the seagulls. “Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine” was their constant cry.
As leaders we can sometimes mimic the seagulls.
My knowledge: “Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine.”
My experience: “Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine.”
My position: “Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine.”
To be fair, we aren’t as obvious or as selfish as the seagulls. But if we aren’t intentional about being generous with our knowledge, our experience and even our position, the result is the same—the potential leaders who are all around us fail to benefit from what we possess.
Perhaps we’re so busy in our daily pursuits or we’re so engrossed in the act of leading that we don’t accomplish one of the primary responsibilities of leadership: raising up other leaders. If we are going to walk in the fullness of our calling as leaders, we must give away:
“The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership” — Harvey Firestone. As we share what we know with others, we help them to mature into who they are as leaders.
“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others” — Bill Gates. By sharing our experiences (and what we learned from them), we empower future leaders to seek out experiences that mold them into who they will become as leaders.
“I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers” — Ralph Nader. We must be intentional about growing and developing future leaders who can do what we do… but better.
As we strive to become better leaders (influencing people to good outcomes), we must remember that good leaders are generous with what we possess and who we are. Who is on the receiving end of our generosity?