As we look back on the holiday that reminds us of freedom and independence as a nation what does freedom means in your everyday role of being a leader?
Freedom to think, to learn and to grow with everyone in your organization. Freedom and willingness to allow those you serve to be empowered to act upon their ideas, feel confident and safe to communicate with you what is working and not working. Acting on the desire to seek agreement and alignment with the vision of the company.
“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes” ~ Mahatma Ghandi
As Ghandi so brilliantly states above, we must allow others to make choices whether they be good or bad so that there is growth. Empowering others to share and follow through with their ideas will create an environment of trust and value in relationship and organization. It is proven that people will give a much higher percentage of self when they feel valued, seen and respected. The environment we as leaders create for others to play and flourish in is extremely important to all involved.
This brings up the word “independence”. The declaration of independence was signed July 4, 1776 by five men who were able to see the future, the long view, not just for tomorrow but for generations to come. Our country was founded on individuals who wanted the freedom to be independent visionaries and they fought for this privilege. These leaders did not lose sight of their principles or goals, nor did they allow petty differences or entanglements to distract them from their vision. Our fore fathers had courageous conversations.
They knew what most of us know today and the game we are in is infinite and not finite. Sports, chess and most games with an end score or time limit are finite and that works for schedules, TV and bed time. Leadership is a different kind of game. One which is infinite and whether you are in this organization or that one who you are being and the freedom you bring to lead and encourage others is perhaps one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.
Think about your leadership as a parent and the legacy your are creating in one, two or more hearts!! What will others say about you and how you served them when you are no longer enjoying life as we know it? What will your children and closest friends say at your last party? Were you free and independent of burden and limitations?
Put what we do in perspective and enjoy the honor and privilege it is to serve and lead other human beings. It is not easy, we get that. But do you think leadership was easy 242 years ago? Please enjoy the opportunities our brothers and sister have provided for us all.
Now that the fireworks are behind us, please take time to reflect on your leadership and how you are serving those in front, behind and next to you.