[June 13, 2018] One of the underrated purposes of good leadership is growing other leaders. This purpose may not, upon reflection, be connected to leadership as we readily can see in trait and character development. I call this … green thumb leadership.
“I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” – Ralph Nader
We often hear that leadership today is more complex, vague, uncertain, and ambiguous in its development and application. While that is true of technology it doesn’t necessarily follow that the modern age makes leadership any more difficult to learn and apply, it’s just different.
In a survey of leading scholarly work, leader blogs, and leadership coursework, I have come to appreciate the idea that the essence of great leadership is the conscious effort to produce more and develop more leaders. Very few organizations actually have this as a fundamental part of its leadership program and it is rarely identified in scholarly works.
In the U.S. military, things are different. It is a key part of their program to teach everyone about leadership and require them to exercise those qualities. It does no good on the battlefield for people to sit back and wait for a “leader” to show up and tell them what to do. Everyone is taught to be proactive and share responsibility for whatever the outcome may be.
I recently found a very good website titled Green Thumb Leadership (see link here). Lisa F. Kosak is the author and has done an outstanding job of putting together a number of sources for a leader who wants to grow themselves as a good person and effective leader. She is one of a few who recognize that leadership requires “good soil” to bloom into something useful. I recommend her website.
Many obstacles await those who take the journey of leadership but its value once gained, is priceless.