Leadership is all-to-often defined in terms that can often times sound controlling or manipulative. Back in 1982 or 83 I was given the opportunity to take the Dale Carnegie course in Effective Communications, part of the course content was his book, How to win friends and influence people, the title never sat well with me, and it was not until years latter when I took the Christopher’s Leadership course did I understand why I did not like the book title, and truth be told, was not overly pleased with the Dale Carnegie course as a whole, the reason, to me it seems that the Dale Carnegie course was all based on manipulating people, not leading them. To me, leadership is not about manipulation but more about Generosity, Generations, Generativity and Engender.
Leadership in not about control or manipulation but rather relationships.
The four words I above to describe leadership all share the root of GEN – from Greek genoa, from Latin genus - Greek -genēs born, produced; akin to Latin genus, kin. Leadership is Kinship, relation. When we are being true leaders we are building a kind of kinship, a kind of family as it were. Leadership depends upon a feeling of belonging, a feeling of being part of the over all group – the extended family – and manipulation of others does not achieve that goal.
Lets look at each word:
/ˌdʒɛn əˈrɒs ɪ ti/ [jen-uh-ros-i-tee]
noun, plural gen·er·os·i·ties.
1. readiness or liberality in giving.
2. freedom from meanness or smallness of mind or character.
3. a generous act: We thanked him for his many generosities.
4. largeness or fullness; amplitude.
A leader is one who is ready to give, to give of there knowledge and experience, with out expecting anything in return. A leader is large in Character, one who works hard to remove meanness as one of there attributed and is quick to give thanks and praise when needed. Leaders, true leaders, do not look to others to make themselves look good, but rather help others to achieved there goals and allowing them to take all the credit once the goal has been achieved.
/ˌdʒɛn əˈreɪ ʃən/ [jen-uh-rey-shuh n]
1. the entire body of individuals born and living at about the same time: the postwar generation.
2. the term of years, roughly 30 among human beings, accepted as the average period between the birth of parents and the birth of their offspring.
3. a group of individuals, most of whom are the same approximate age, having similar ideas, problems, attitudes, etc. Compare Beat Generation, Lost Generation.
4. a group of individuals belonging to a specific category at the same time: Chaplin belonged to the generation of silent-screen stars.
5. a single step in natural descent, as of human beings, animals, or plants.
Leadership is not in a void, no leader can ever claim to have become a leader without look back to past generations. We do not exist in a void, we are not omnipotent – having very great or unlimited authority or power – we achieve greatness but learning from the past. Our present is based on the great leaders of past generations, and out future generations will be built upon our examples of leadership. No leader stands alone, all leaders build upon the leaders of generations gone by.
Part of Speech: n
a concern for others developed during middle age, esp.a need to nurture and guide younger people and contribute to the next generation
Leaders, authentic leaders, do not keep there knowledge to themselves, they freely give of it, they use there skills to help build the leaders of the generations yet to come. Mentoring is an essential pare of leadership, a leader with out monitories is like a ship with out a sail, no leader can lead if they do not first and foremost teach there skills to others, Leadership is teaching on a higher plane, and a teacher with out a pupil is no teacher at all, they are nothing more than a blowhard with an audience.
/ɛnˈdʒɛn dər/ [en-jen-der]
verb (used with object)
1. to produce, cause, or give rise to: Hatred engenders violence.
2. to beget; procreate.
verb (used without object)
3. to be produced or caused; come into existence: Conditions for a war were engendering in Europe.
Leaders produce they rise up and they procreate, leaders bring into existence ideas and actions, they procreate but helping to build the leaders of tomorrow, they are, in short, the mothers and fathers of the next great leader, the next big revolution and the next breakthrough for humanity. Leaders are anything but static, they are dynamic in all meanings of the work.
Gen Leadership calls us to reexamine our motives and techniques we deploy as leaders. Are we leaders for our own sake, or leaders for the sake of others? Do we believe that we stand alone as a leaders, or we we stand with many generations of leaders? Do we procreate, are we actively engaged in mentoring new leaders or do hold our leadership cards close to our chest?
Take some time to truly reflect upon the questions, reread the the four different GEN leadership qualities, examine the deeper meanings and see how they currently fit into your leadership style. If they don’t fit in, how can you add them in, what can you do to start to incorporate them into your leadership tool box?
Gen Leadership is more about others than about self, Gen Leadership looks to the past to see the future. Are you a Gen Leader?