Issue: April - June 2009
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10 Years ago in Bandworld
Logo Leadership Purpose

by Tim Lautzenheiser Bio
Vol. 14, #4, p.33 (March - April 1999)

The purpose of the material in this article is to provide an opportunity for leaders to learn and adopt methods to promote their success in a given task. Reminding yourself of your own purpose for being a leader helps you stay on task throughout your daily activities. A purpose gives meaning and importance to what you are doing. Examining purposes and keeping them in mind supports leadership.
The intention of the following program is made clear by closely examining your leadership purpose. You can carefully review the purpose by discussing each of the following key phrases:

1. Purpose—Everyone has untapped potential. Becoming a leader is a lifelong process. The purpose does not prescribe a final destination. It suggests a direction of growth and learning. It is impossible, for example, to arrive at a destination called “east.” Traveling east makes more sense. We can use this purpose like a point on a compass and continually monitor our progress.

2. Provide an opportunity—The American Heritage dictionary defines “teach” as “To cause to learn...” “Cause” is defined as “A person or thing responsible for an action or result.” Since everyone is responsible for his/her own learning, no one else can be the source or cause of that learning. So we have an interesting dilemma. No one can cause another’s learning and teaching is causing another’s learning. There is only one possible conclusion. Teaching is impossible!
Don’t be discouraged. Leadership as a profession is not in jeopardy. Even though it is impossible, leaders have an incredibly challenging and useful job. They provide an opportunity for others to learn. They can invite others to learn. Leaders set the stage in the most effective way possible for learning to take place. The responsibility rests with the individual. Learning, defined as “the act of gaining knowledge or skill,” is not only possible, it is the most natural act humans perform. It begins before birth and continues at least until death. Leaders are responsible for providing an opportunity. The individual is responsible for learning.

3. Learn and adopt—Knowing what is needed to be successful is not enough. Unless strategies for success are put into ACTION, they are useless. The ideas shared here encourage leaders to not only learn, but also adopt methods to be successful in life. This often requires behavioral change. Selling leaders on the idea of changing their behavior is the ultimate challenge of this program. Shift in attitudes, values, and beliefs accompany shifts in behavior.

4. Method—Most of the concepts involve concrete techniques and specific strategies for success. Parts of it, however, are philosophical in nature. These are ideas that can be used as tools to build a successful experience in leadership and life!

5. Successful in leadership—There is no one model of leadership success that is appropriate for everyone. People are different and so are their pictures of success. It is not the intent of the ideas present here to promote leadership as defined by parents, teachers, or other leaders. Success needs to be defined individually by each unique leader.

Being a successful leader may help ensure success later in life. While some of the ideas presented can be seen as dealing with general life skills, the purpose is to teach effective leadership through intense self-development, communication skills, and sensitivity to others. SEEK TOTAL EXCELLENCE.

 

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