2. Those who Can and Don't;
3. Those who Can and Do, without being asked.
Some identify leaders by virtue of their title, but that would be a mistake. Many managers are mistaken as Leaders, whereas they are really just more experienced and organized workers. True Leaders develop over time, and often rise to obtain a title that suggests their status, but it's not acquired as a result of What they do. Rather, it's a result of How they go about it.Leaders set the pace and are willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish the mission. They support their team, by respecting but continually encouraging and mentoring them. They lead from the front and provide the example. Brian Martin is a Leader.
On Monday morning as I pulled into the office parking lot, imagine my surprise as I saw Brian Martin pulling out on a zero turn mower! (Note the picture and the safety vest....another example.). He was headed to mow a field by the office so that our group of interns could hold teamwork events there that morning. Could he have asked someone else to do it? Sure, but our crews are running wide open this time of year and that request would take time away from a valued client. So he hopped on the mower himself and proceeded to take care of it. It was just a coincidence that I spotted him.
That's what leadership by example is all about. It's being willing to do whatever is needed, whenever it is necessary to enable the team to accomplish their mission. There's no job too big or too small. Leadership requires service before self, something that many people aren't willing to provide.
The great thing about leadership is that it can be demonstrated by any person, in any role and at any time. No one needs to give you permission to step up and lead. It's a personal decision -- a choice -- that sets the tone for success and accomplishment in all aspects of life and work. Seth Godin refers to such people as "Linchpins". Whatever you call them, you'll recognize them in action.
Leadership by Example is one of the greatest gifts we can share with those around us. Thanks, Brian, for reminding us what that looks like!