Ideas on Leadership

I’ve been thinking recently about leadership. It’s been on my mind lately because I’ve recently found myself in an acting leadership (volunteer) position for a not-for-profit organisation, and because I’ve recently “employed” two additional team members into Iscariot Media.

I’ve never gone for leadership positions. I’ve been volunteering since my early 20s, and have never sought the President or Chairperson’s role. I’ve always been satisfied with the role of Secretary or just plain old Committee Member. I’ve never been the one to step out in front, happy to sit back and be the supporter.

I’ve often wondered what kind of character I’d be on Survivor – the leader, the bossy one, the one who actually does all the work, the back-stabber/allegiance shifter, or the one who falls apart in the corner.

As someone who has spent a lot of time in teams, I’ve had to put up with domineering characters, both male and female, though more often than not, male. I’ve been in teams with leaders who are leaders in name only – basically useless, leaving the committee rudderless. I’ve worked under a lot of leaders who thought of themselves first before others, and I can tell you it makes the work (paid and/or volunteer) hard. One leader I remember fondly and who influenced me greatly, was the late Glenis Charlton. She was one of my first Chairs (at Kooemba Jdarra Indigenous Performing Arts Company). She taught me about governance, ethics and procedure. She also taught me about focusing on the organisation (and the community) and not about myself.

I do think there are also leaders who are leaders because they happen to be in the spotlight. Sometimes (oftentimes??) leadership is about other peoples’ perception of who is THE ONE, rather than the reality.

I’ve found myself doing things that I know some “leaders” wouldn’t do – asking other committee members what they think before I take an action, talking things through with team members before making a decision, allowing other people to be responsible for projects rather than micro-managing every aspect.

I really don’t know if I’ll be much of a leader – I may be too much of a people pleaser, or in the very least, someone who avoids confrontation. I’m not super ambitious, and I’m not a perfectionist. Time will tell I guess.

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