What should be the role of a leader? Maybe it comes down to how we define leaders and the role they have. With this entry, I want to discover some of the implications of what I see the role of a leader.
As leadership has the word lead in it, I see the main role of a leader in helping to identify the path and to support others on their way of traveling it. For me, it should revolve around finding meaning. Now, in a business setting, we have a lot of constraints and helping others to find meaning might be difficult to achieve. At least in the sense how most businesses are run.
Here we already come to one implication of what I see as good leadership. Companies often exist to provide a service to make our lives easier and better. Every company has limited resources and is a slave to competing in the market to be able to take care of their employees. This is why we often have tied schedules which can lead to many great accomplishments, but also to negative individual outcomes. We put a lot of pressure on people and most of the time they will deliver no matter what. But the long-lasting effects are not visible and might only become visible over time.
I speak of depression, anxiety disorders, sleep deprivation, burn out, problems in the relationship due to stress at work, greed, jealousy, and many more. Now, do all of these individual fates justify the outcome? It is not as black and white as it might sound. I know it from myself that I achieve more when I am under a little pressure. If the quality is the same as if I had taken more time, I cannot say, because there is always a danger of not finishing something. But, then the question is, if I don’t finish something, have I really felt meaning in doing it? Wouldn’t you say that something you find meaning in is worth bringing to an end, even if it takes time?
And also think about what we have accomplished as a society. Apart from the obvious problems we still face, we have come a long way in technology, medicine, and other areas which improved all of our lives. I take a guess, but I think all of those achievement left behind many suffering people. So, when I propose, we should take more time, do I refuse future generations the right and the opportunities that were given me by the accomplishments and suffering of former generations? It is a difficult decision.
Let’s stop here for today. Tomorrow, I will continue with this very complex topic.
Have a wonderful day and take care!