With the UK Brexit and US presidential elections having dominated the news over the past many months, leadership has been in the spotlight.
In centuries, years and days gone by, before the advent of democracy, the general population had very little say over who occupied the leadership roles of their countries.
As populations have gained more and more access to information via the Internet, processes that were previously hidden from the general public are now freely available to them for them to form their own opinions about developments.
Previously, leaders looked after themselves. They acquired political power for one thing – their own gain. Simply put, they were almost, to a man (there were very few female political leaders in the distant past – Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria being two of the exceptions) in it for what they could get. The masses were exploited for the benefit of the powers that be.
Business leaders of the distant past weren’t much better than their political counterparts. The landowners, factory owners and business owners paid people a pittance to generate products which brought massive profits to the “owners”. They were also in the game for what they could get.
But things have been changing and will continue to change …
While one can’t be too sure about the political arena, “Get Leaders” in the business world have passed their sell-by date and are being replaced by a more emotionally intelligent, socially responsible leader. These are the “Give Leaders”.
“Give Leaders”, unlike their “Get” counterparts who are driven by fear, are motivated by a higher purpose that is driven by a deep desire to see the reality of the people working for them improve. That’s because “Give Leaders” are motivated by love – a selfless love for all human beings that causes them to operate on the basis of, “What I want for my children, I want for all children.”
We still see many “Get Leaders” in our country, both in the political sphere as well as in the business sector. Sadly, they provide inappropriate role models for others who think that that is the way to be a leader – to get into power so that you can take as much as you can for yourself.
Without wanting to excuse such thinking and behaviour, an explanation would be helpful. I previously mentioned that “Get Leaders” are driven by fear. They are afraid of not having enough, so are determined to amass as much wealth as they can because they believe it will make them feel more secure (less afraid). But when you’re greedy, no matter how much you get, it’s never enough.
What kind of leader are you? Are you one who’s driven by fear, so you, too, are trying to trample on everyone else to get as much as you can, no matter at whose expense? Or are you a leader who understands the Law of Enough and uses your leadership position, skills and power to take people to a better reality?
It takes courage and strength to be a “Give Leader” – to give of yourself, to give of your energy and effort, to give of your skills, to give of your vision to inspire others to greater heights.
The higher truth is that we are all here to give, not to get. As we give of what we have been given, we find our purpose, our meaning and our fulfilment. We also find opportunities to receive much value as we give much value. This sounds counter intuitive but, when you start practising this way of living and working, you discover that opportunities open up for you that you never anticipated. And as you continue to give of yourself, you attract more and more opportunities. The challenge for you then is to make the most of those opportunities.
The world needs more “Give Leaders”. I urge you to overcome your fear, release the love in your heart and be one of those who works to make the world a better, more equal, place for all.
Alan Hosking is the publisher of HR Future magazine, www.hrfuture.net, @HRFuturemag, and a professional speaker. He assists business leaders to lead their people into the new world of work.