Julie Omer, MBA, CPA, CFO, MSBO Board Member, Chief Financial Officer, Owosso Public Schools
Are you a leader? Such a simple question, right? Yes or no would seem to be the two obvious responses. Not so fast. What if you added some verbiage to the end of that question? Try, “are you a leader at home, work, in your profession, in your community…” the add-ons are endless. Would it change your response? Probably. It would also depend on your own personal definition of a “leader” or, even more importantly, what the definition of a “leader” is by those being led in any of those circumstances. One of my favorite quotes about leadership is from the movie “Remember the Titans” – “Attitude reflects leadership, captain.” To me, a pretty powerful quote to keep “leaders” in check.
I recently read an article posted by Dr. Travis Bradberry on LinkedIn on “Why most definitions of leadership are wrong.” On the surface of things, maybe not very helpful in creating your own personal definition but to arrive at an answer, it is sometimes very helpful to start playing the game of opposites to paint a clearer, more meaningful picture. Dr. Bradberry provided four of his insights into his framework for what isn’t leadership:
- “Leadership has nothing to do with seniority or one’s position – Leadership doesn’t automatically happen when you reach a certain pay grade.”
- “Leadership has nothing to do with titles” – It is a natural assumption when we see a title that implies a leadership position that the person holding that title is automatically a “leader.” Are they? Think about those people that you find to be true leaders in different aspects of your life, do they always have a title that most people would consider denotes a leader?
- “Leadership has nothing to do with personal attributes” – Wow, that seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? When we create a list of adjectives to describe leadership, it is normal to think we are all working from the same Webster dictionary definition pool. Perhaps not.
- Leadership isn’t management – “managers plan, measure, monitor, coordinate, solve, hire, fire, etc. Managers spend most of their time managing things. Leaders lead people.” The caution is not to get caught in the trap that just because someone has people that report to them that this automatically makes them a “leader.”
Dr. Bradberry explores other conventional definitions of leadership that he finds to be false or at least do not tell the whole story and arrives at his own definition. No, I’m not going to share it with you, not because it didn’t resonate with me but simply because I go back to my premise that I believe that the definition of leadership is a personal journey. A journey that can and will change depending on what space you are in when you are trying to define it for yourself.
So, what does this personal leadership definition journey have to do with MSBO? Now more than ever, leadership is so important in our districts, our State, our nation and on the world stage. Take advantage of the opportunities to recognize those that you see that are demonstrating your definition of true leadership through Board of Education appreciation month, nominating a worthy colleague for one of MSBO member awards, or perhaps by simply reaching out to say “thank you” to someone that has inspired you on your personal leadership journey. Sincere gratitude and recognition are powerful fuels to energize any trip.
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- 2021 MSBO Board of Directors Candidates
- Disruptive Innovation – Coming to a Conference Near You
- Do You Have Bus Purchases in Your Transportation Budget?
- Don’t Miss the January 31 Deadline!
- Economics of Learning – Listen to the Podcast
- Ed Stasiak Appointed as the Associate Member Representative to the MSBO Board
- MSBO Update – January 2021
- Professional Development at Your Fingertips
- Welcome New Members