“A leader is not an administrator who loves to run others, but one who carries water for his people so that they can get on with their jobs.”
I love this quote, because it resonates with my core belief of my leadership style. I want desperately for people to live their best lives, their fullest experiences, their grandest dreams. And while I may sound a bit like Oprah, I am sincere in that I want people to know their full capacity for living, giving, and learning. I want people to know what their passion and purpose is, and who follow their purposes fueled by their passions to do more, to be more. I want people to truly “get on with their jobs” not because I said so, but because they believe it is the right thing to do.
Administrators spend too much time telling people what to do. They need to ask instead. They need to trust, and they need to guide. They DO NOT need to rule over the people. There is no king or dictator in my vision of leadership. There is only the water carrier, and the path-clearer. The journeys are long and difficult and treacherous. People need a leader who nourishes them and nurtures them and nudges them.
I am reminded of so many readings and teaching about servant leadership. To some, it seems an odd concept – the servant leading the master. But, in reality, the servant has great influence to move the master, great insight to guide the master, and great intellect to know his place. The servant can seem like a follower and actually be the leader. In either case, he can be the water carrier. He can let people do their work knowing it will get done.
Grab a pail. Be the leader you are meant to be.