For those of you that have received and follow my writing of one-page essays you also know that when I have some space left at the bottom I write a few Haikus, at least in form. The Haiku’s form is five syllables followed by seven syllables followed by five syllables and attempts in these few words and three lines to paint a picture of the natural world. For me I so enjoy the 5-7-5 syllables form that I use this to express anything and everything. Let us see if I can fill this page with a variety of thoughts using the Haiku form.
The other day they came————Two friends from Fort Worth, Texas————Memorable time.
What gifts they arranged————–Virginia City————-Lake Tahoe, blue sky, and rain.
Another time other guests————-Like family they are to us————How blessed to share time with them.
Family, not blood—————We have this with each other—————And stories galore.
Our history full——————Plus memories of people ——————Rich experiences.
Grateful is easy—————–We see the bright side of things————A choice that we make.
Time is limited——————We must make the most of it—————–Be kind, be caring, love lots. Share yourself with others. Anticipate needs, fill them——————Be a gift to others.
The designated leader generally demonstrates through their achievements and attitude that they possess qualities that merit them being elevated to a leadership role in their organization. How they go about doing their work and relating to others identifies their special qualities. In this case, they are excellent workers, creative and problem-solvers that do their job without making waves or drawing attention to themselves. They are also responsible and accountable but not necessarily with an agenda that seeks a leadership position.
It is not uncommon for workers with exceptional talent and work behavior to be considered for leadership positions. Still, the people I specifically refer to in this paper are excellent employees because they are good and without expectations that they become leaders. The differences between the exceptional employee who does high-quality work (because it is the job they do) and the employee that seeks to become a leader are considerable. Their intentions are different and eventually seen for what they are.
Those given leadership positions must also be given training in how to use their newfound power and influence. While the excellent employee will view this positively, it might prove difficult for the employee who wants and seeks to become a leader. This, because their reasons for being where they are and their views on newfound power are vastly different.
For the former, it is a job to be done as well as possible and empower those they lead to be as good as they can be.
The person who seeks leadership to have power over those they lead is focused primarily on themselves and their own glory. What they do and how they lead is secondary. These differences are not subtle, nor are their relationships and outcomes.
As for the person committed to being their own boss, their path may not have to do with control, power, or influence. They may choose never to be an employee of an organization. Money may or may not drive them. Power over others may not drive them. Being the best at what one does may or may not drive them. First and foremost, they have decided to be professionally independent, depending on only themselves.
Power and the negative influence that many in power evidence has always bothered me. As a kid growing up in Chicago, I remember that I not only would not be intimidated by bullies but sought them out and took them on. If you were family or friend, I fought on your behalf. No problem, and as I grew, so did my reputation. I do not know why but standing up against inappropriate power and the characters that acted this way seemed to be my calling. Apparently, I someway somehow knew that power misused had to be stood up against. I did so without knowing why, except that it is what I felt, and acted accordingly.
As a young entrepreneur, I led and trained people that worked for me, and I believe I never used my powers to push or harm them. In fact, I do not remember using my power and influence in any way other than to assist them to be as good as possible with children. If an employee refused to grow, and the way they worked demonstrated this, I made it easy for them to quit. I made it clear that it was “grow or go,” always in respectful ways. I never knowingly used my powers to harm another.
In 2014 I decided to write a book on “Leadership, Power & Consequences” and spoke with several people that worked for me as long ago as the 1950s. I heard that many saw me as a “role model.” I asked why, since I do not remember asking anyone, “what kind of leader am I?” I did what events called for me to do, and never do I remember wondering if I was a good leader or a bad one. Would it have made a difference? Maybe and maybe not?
When I worked with other leaders of businesses (professional and otherwise) and their “Inner circles,” I witnessed that Leaders often were the problem to the answers they sought with their key people—Was this me as a leader? In other words, was it the way that leaders spoke, looked, and shared the feelings that came out of them as leaders? This led to years of study and the realization that leaders, whether good or bad, make the most significant difference in how organizations function.
Why I am, who knows? ———-But I become regardless————I play the cards dealt.
Power and influence are potentially strong emotional issues. Depending on how used and interpreted, they can grow or diminish a person. My concern is that those in power work to empower those they lead so that “growth” is one’s chosen path, creating a sense of ownership and improved participation. Compare this to people being treated as things and feeling like pawns; where are the benefits? Note that how one feels influences behavior. To believe “feelings” have nothing or little to do with relationships is to miss much of what brings and holds people together. Through research and “hands-on work,” I have learned that “communication is clearly the problem to the answers we seek between us.” And that when we respect and give time to understanding each other’s thoughts and feelings, the likelihood of a positive and productive relationship increases. Those that use their power wisely know that feelings have much to do with people’s behavior.
Another issue for those in power is that when they use this power and influence to satisfy their own needs, they assume agreement is unnecessary when it is essential to the contract. People are not things to be used as parts of a machine while treating agreement as unimportant influences. This negative attitude harms the relationship and the job to be done. The leader that listens, understands, and confirms their followers and seriously seeks what is felt about their relationship and discussion wins—as does the follower. Powerful people that nurture good feelings in those they lead will also share the benefits.
We are what we inherit, but I believe that we are mostly what we experience. Our behavior is a result of one, the other, or a mix of the two. Which predominates may depend on a third force, and that is the powers that rule our life.