Leaders are Different, says my Boss

I work hard to succeed, deliver, and outperform expectations.  I know my craft, I have good answers, pose good questions, work with others, and build great models.  I’m shooting for a promotion.  Promotion day comes and my boss says: “sorry you didn’t get it…Why not? Because leaders are different”

This is the story of many out there that got looked over for a leadership role.  Maybe this is your story.  I know it was mine.

No, I didn’t get the exact same words or the same situation, but I have gotten looked over or push aside because “I wasn’t ready”.

So the question is how are leaders different?

This is the question Mark Miller’s book – The HEART of Leadership answers.  In the following series of posts I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the concept of this insightful book.

Let’s begin this journey.

As I have grown in leadership and leading experiences I have come to realize that it takes a little more than great individual contribution to become a great leader.

Here are some things I naturally look for and expect from a leader.

  • Knowledge and guidance
    • I expect my leaders to not only know about work related subjects but also be able to provide thoughtful guidance on addressing my barriers in getting stuff done.
  • Honor their word and responsibilities
    • When something went wrong, I expect leaders to honor their part in the failure.  I also expect them to follow through with their promises.
    • Words don’t mean anything without actions to back them up.
  • Care about me as an individual
    • At the end of the day, I want to be treated as a person not a means to an end.
    • It’s a relationship between humans not man vs. machine.

Coincidentally, my expectations relate very well to the leadership traits discussed in Mark’s book.  What is the heart of leadership? Leaders:

  • Hunger for Wisdom
  • Expect the Best
  • Accept Responsibility
  • Respond with Courage
  • Think Others First.

I will share my take on these in the weeks to come.




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