Mia Culpa

The leader must be the first to openly share their omissions, errors, and weaknesses with those they live and work with. The leader is the primary role model, whether out in front, standing in the limelight, or exercising power behind closed doors. It is impossible for those that hold influence over others to avoid responsibility for the behavior of those under their wings. 

The parent is the child’s role model, which also is true of teachers and other leaders people follow. Hierarchy exists everywhere as an unavoidable fact regardless of desires or attempts to flatten the leadership pyramid. Looking back at my leadership style, I believe I tried to give voice and courage to those I led. I wanted them to be their most honest selves, but only they would know to what degree I succeeded.

I will never forget the outstanding, capable secretary I had. On many mornings, when I came to work preoccupied, I did not acknowledge her with a good morning greeting. Then, one morning as I entered the office, she began to cry. Seeing her tears, I stopped and asked her what was wrong. She voiced her fears, as my behavior had her wondering if she had made some mistake or if I did not like her.

I held her in my arms and explained that I was somewhere else, that she was not one of my problems, and that I loved her. I told her that often I have much on my mind and only see the work I have in front of me. After that, I made it a point to acknowledge her each day, and she grew strong enough in our relationship that she made me present whenever I appeared to be somewhere else. Her voice was loud and clear.

The power to influence is incredible, and those wielding this influence must do so wisely. While empowering followers is only one of a leader’s vast responsibilities, it is perhaps the most important. 


Author: Sy Ogulnick

Sy Ogulnick received a BA from UCLA, Teacher’s Credential from Los Angeles Board of Education and completed phase I (Master’s portion) in a Doctor of Behavioral Science program at California Coast University. Sy leased and operated a summer day camp in LA. He and his wife then purchased virgin wilderness land in Northern CA, where they built and operated a coed summer camp. They moved to Las Vegas, NV, and purchased, built and operated a community children’s program for families staying in a major resort casino in Las Vegas. They have created programs for children nationwide that employed many people and in the process developed successful training programs for personnel. This led Sy to lecture on how to train staff and the creating of community within the workplace. Sy was then invited to speak at professional conferences on how best to hire and train employees, which led to his becoming a consultant in the art of improving relationships in a work environment and eventually to his epiphany that “Leaders are the primary problem and the answer to the personnel issues that arise in the workplace.” Sy has written numerous papers on the subject of interpersonal relationships, leadership and power. He has lectured throughout the United States, has been interviewed by the media and has appeared on many radio and TV talk shows

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