Sunday, May 03, 2009

The essence of the leader

I've run C-Corps, S-Corps, LLCs, and sole proprietorships. Right now, I have the opportunity and good fortune to help run a non-profit. In that day job, I'm helping organize Co-ops.

Structure, structure, structure. It defines a lot of what works and what doesn't work once the rubber meets the road.

This is not a piece about legal structures however. Structures don't make organizations work, leaders do.

I've been thinking about what connects leadership across all the kinds of enterprises I've had the opportunity to participate in.

Fortunately I don't have to think too hard. One simple thing stands out. I just came across a wonderful quote from Tom Peters that sums up my own philosophy better than I could:

"The essence of the leader is to induce people to grow." --Tom Peters

Induce: "to lead or move by persuasion or influence, as to some action or state of mind."

Grow: "to increase by natural development."

If you are a person considering a startup or working in an emerging enterprise, you need to be a leader, no matter your specific position. The world needs your solutions and you need to get those solutions deployed. If you are leading a small team or even if you are only leading yourself, you need to create states of mind and actions that help people get better through natural, reproducible (sustainable) solutions.

Short post, thanks (again) to Tom Peters.

My friend, lead by inducing people to grow.

Tom Peters

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