I feel I need to do a bit of explaining my comments on Military Academies and Universities that hold classes on Leadership. I wrote that “IF” they lecture on techniques and appearance or “acting” in specific ways, they are “blowing smoke.” In other words, they are wasting breath and time teaching things that do not make “good” leaders. “Good” leaders are not “acting” but “being.”. And this is pure volitional.
Study and experience, not wishful thinking, have given me the right to share my feelings and thoughts about leadership training programs. Leaders become “good” leaders because of their commitment to personal growth for themselves and those close to them, meaning family, friends, and the people they work with.
This process demands that any leader who commits to this journey must be moral, ethical, principled, and VULNERABLE—not a weakness in any sense, but the courage to be as open with their emotions and thoughts as possible. They set the example if this is what they want from those close to them. Genuine Dialogue, if it is ever to happen, is made possible by the leader’s behavior as seen, heard, and felt—and not by any other inducement.
I worked with leaders from almost every field and discipline, but before I took them as a client, I made sure that they would give me their power, not to lead but to teach—and they had to become one of the students at the table. In other words, they became one of the staff, and I related to them the same way as others. My approach: No lecture, but brief statements and comments and then asking them what they heard, understood and felt. If they chose not to comment, I thanked them and went on to the next person until one spoke out, which usually made others feel safe enough to jump in. In time, it was not me that would open a workshop but attendees who felt they needed to bring specific issues to the workshop.