Have You Sent the Invitation?
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer
Last week I wrote about the lack of leadership. This week I would like to talk about attracting leaders. Let’s start with how we can identify an up and coming leader. Since leadership is influence, who do you know that shows the ability to influence people? Too often we think that people need to be in a position of authority to show leadership abilities and that just isn’t true. The key is for us to find people who have found the way to influence right where they are. These will be those who want to lead and understand how to earn followers.
In his book The Leaders Greatest Return, John Maxwell shares a wonderful example of when he was invited to a conference where leaders far his senior were gathering. As he walked into the room where people were already sitting at round tables, a man that John held in high esteem stood up and said, “John, I’ve been waiting for you. I’ve saved a seat for you at our table.” John recalls how thrilled he was. He compared it to being called up to the major leagues. John was invited to the leadership table and he would never forget what he learned and how it felt.
It is said that a company’s culture is the expression of the values people hold within the organization. When we invite people to our leadership table, we allow them to experience our leadership culture. Those we invite to the table get to observe the values of the organization in play as we make decisions and interact with each other. They are able to see how we operate and what is expected of those with a seat at the table. Similar to a test drive, you get to see how the individual reacts and responds in the leadership environment. Remember to give them the opportunity to participate in the activities. As Maxwell says, “The table is meant to attract potential leaders and find out if they will become leaders.”
If you would like to hear more about this topic, please join Marisa Norcross and me for Episode 141 of The Next Page podcast as we look into what happens as the leadership table.