Leaders, in my experience have always been the people with the most “talent” and the greatest capacity to do work. It’s not true.
A perception that changed for me is traits aren’t necessarily leadership. Northouse (2010) says that culture and context change too often to support just a traits-based notion of leadership (p. 27). There are many approaches to the dynamic nature of leadership. But I have resigned to not define leadership by a style or approach but instead by what leadership is in an organization. Leadership , according to Rost (1993), is influence, thought leadership, directional guidance (p. 133).
Another perception that changed for me is the fact that play and creativity is a vital part of an organizations work. As Brown and Vaughn (2010) remind me, “play helps us deal with difficulties, provides a sense of expansiveness, promotes mastery of our craft, and is an essential part of the creative process” (p. 127). Even in the church, the notion that play is not just time idly spent is a tough argument to make.
Finally, a perception that has been diluted for me is that leadership and authority are the same thing. Power comes in stages based on organization culture and leadership need. Everyone has the capacity for leadership. And a primary function of a leader is to create more leaders.
Brown, S., & Vaughn, C. (2010). Play: How it shapes the brain, opens the imagination and invigorates the soul. New York, NY: Avery Trade.
Northouse, P. (2010). Leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Rost, J. (1993). Leadership for the twenty-first century. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.