What’s your job?
Fall term has begun at Montana State University and I am once again teaching two sections of a leadership course I was lucky enough to design. So, Mondays and Wednesdays 30 students and I explore what is leadership and why it matters.
Since I designed the course, the overarching definition for a leader comes from one of myfavorite quotes by Meg Wheatley — “A leader is anyone who wants to help at this time.”
So in my class, if you care, you are a leader. This broad definition keeps all of us on the hook to learn leadership skills over the semester. The students are then accountable to apply the techniques through service learning. I’m also constantly reminded that because I want to help the students, I am leading until December 15th when the semester closes out.
I also like this big definition since it keeps me on the look out for what I like to call, “every day leaders.” These aren’t folks who are holding formal management roles, but ones who are simply trying to help. Today, I’d want to pass along two such leaders that inspired me over the past week.
First, check out this story by Joyce Hackett from Liberty Mutual’s Responsibility Project website (click on the link). Here the small act of observation combined with storytelling could profoundly change lives. The just act of reading this essay touched mine. I’d call Joyce’s courage to act and honesty admirable leadership skills.
And second, I have to pass along how Amy Pankratz of Souix Falls, South Dakota impacts lives around the country while serving as a stay-at-home mother of three. This too is leadership in the highest degree. Notice how she:
changes paradigmsinspires imagination and creativityempowerselegantly reframes a situation
Is this not what we are calling for from our board rooms and corner offices?
I hope you enjoy her story.