Updated: Aug 24, 2018
People think leaders should be at the front of the room. That a leader needs to be smarter than the rest or be very persuasive.
But what I have learned is the greatest leaders listen more than they speak. They put their own best interest aside to think about what will be best for everyone, or at least those who he topic impacts the most.
Great leaders ask questions and more questions, and then follow up with yet another round of questions. Through those questions others learn, norms are challenged and previously unknown common ground is found. Unfortunately, questioning can be viewed as disrespectful. I once heard through a friend that another person in leadership said I was "exhausting." I thought to myself "good". Dialog is how we find the best ideas. To complete a task, we need the best ideas and the contribution of many leaders to the overall energy.
A leader slows the process to hear all the voices and puts it in high-gear, cutting red tape to move a great idea ahead. Even if it isn't their idea (maybe especially when it isn't their idea).
What does leadership mean to you?