“We don’t usually remember what people said or what they did – however we do remember how they make us feel.” – Maya Angelou
I recall while growing up I was often mindful of how the people around me made me feel. This was particularly true with adults. When some were around I felt safe and protected, while with others I felt vulnerable and afraid.
The desire to win is natural; we see this trait from the early stages of childhood.
Toddlers fight because they need to win although they do not know that is what they are doing. As adults, we continue to fight to win, but we tend to be more subtle about it now that we can rationalize why we need to win.
Whether vying for a toy, a position, a desired outcome, or just being right, we want to come out on top. We want to win.
Leaders lead from their experience and knowledge, which makes leadership both an art and a science. Many leaders are excellent with the science of leadership. They are familiar with the latest trends, models and research in leadership. They also know how to teach the science of leadership. However, where they often struggle is in the art of leadership.
The art of leadership is the part that is shaped and influenced by experience. One aspect of the experience that influences leadership is the wounds the leader has experienced in life.
We all have been wounded in life and will be again as long as we are in relationships. Whether or not we are aware of it or admit it, those wounds will influence how we relate to others.
All leaders want to know that those they are leading are actually following. Leaders struggle when they think people are following, and in reality, they are not.
In some cases, people may be following because of a paycheck. Others may appear to be following while pursuing their own agenda, such as waiting for the leader to fail so they can take their place. Others may follow out of shared loyalty; they feel they owe the leader for being good to them sometime in the past.
Whatever the reason there is nothing more disheartening for leaders than to think they have followers when in reality they do not.