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Tuesday, July 04, 2017

With Great Power...Leadership in Action

"With great power comes great responsibility." It's been many years since Uncle Ben said this but this quote still rings true and many leaders still fail to learn the lesson.

It helps to go back to the reason why Uncle Ben said this to Peter a.k.a Spider man to understand the message and carry the yoke of power effectively.

So Peter discovered he has superpower and thought of what he can do to take advantage of it. He beat  up the guy who bullied him, joined a local wrestling match to generate some quick cash. He's gotten busy with how to harness his power that he started to neglect the menial stuff like picking up Aunt May and buying groceries. That's when Uncle Ben decided to confront him. And just like a bitter pill, Peter  refused to swallow the lesson which cost Uncle Ben his life and Peter a lot of regret.

I think that giving people an opportunity to lead is tantamount to giving them power. Two kinds of power; the power to make or break an organization, and the power to make or break people's future. It's an awesome power that requires a great sense of responsibility. While these responsibilities are clearly communicated in one's job description and performance goals, many tend to ignore these because their busy taking stock of the perks and entitlements of the formal authority and position. 

 When I look back at bosses I admire and the ones I dislike, I easily see the difference and it's the way they lead or the lack thereof. Great leaders take their teams/people on a journey that leads to shared success, bad leaders take you for a ride. They fail to keep their promise even as they profit from their team's effort. John Maxwell said that great leaders produce great leaders. They do this by modeling how great leaders act, and enabling them by preparing them for shared leadership. I think that great leaders count their success by their ability lead in delivering organizational results and seeing to it that it leads to people results. The bad leaders count their profit period. I have nothing against profit. We all need it. You can't give what you don't have. There is a need to work hard for it. However, if your way of expressing success includes stiffing your people of their shares to generate more profit, you are a bad leader in my book. 

We all know how powerful leaders can be. Some people are willing to put their lives on the line not only because they believe their leaders but because they have FAITH in their leaders and what they claim to stand for. It's important to recognize that with this power comes a big responisbility, a moral responsibility to not take advantage of your people.

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