The Quiet Leader: Why We Need Them Now
Is this the era of the quiet leader?
This question was posed in The Christian Science Monitor, which went on to say: “There aren’t a lot of epic poems or blockbuster movies about quiet leaders.”
Yes, Hollywood loves the no-holds barred, “take no prisoner” style of leadership. In this attention-seeking world, it would seem that the quiet leader is drowned out by her swaggering, in-your-face counterpart. What is a quiet leader to do?
This post is not a discussion about the characteristics of quiet leadership or tries to make a case for one. My betters have explored this topic in depth and length. Do a Google search under “quiet leadership” and see for yourself. My own search this week returned over 52 million results.
If the leaders themselves remain quiet, the interests and the movement for awareness of their leadership style certainly are not. The time for the quiet leader is now. If you are a quiet leader, I see two immediate opportunities for your brand of leadership.
The Need for Context and Fresh Perspective
We live in a time of rapid change and tremendous information exchange. It’s overwhelming. You, the Quiet Leader, will then be called upon to put the information avalanche in context and add fresh perspective. While your brash counterpart is busy making the rounds on the speaking circuit, media shows and all manners of social media, you are observing, analyzing, synthesizing. Your introspection will be the calm that draws.
Cream Rises to the Top
I wouldn’t worry too much about Hollywood. No matter how quietly or unassuming you may be leading; if you are leading, you will be noticed, and more importantly, remembered. This week I reached out to a past leader whom I worked with at a finance organization. It has been more than two years since our last conversation. We spoke perhaps two or three times on the phone; swapped a dozen e-mails but the impression he left was indelible.
Tom has the brand of leadership that if called upon, you would drop everything at a moment’s notice and follow without question. Do you know of many leaders like this in your own life? I did not. Until Tom, I only knew of one. Even then, when I first learned of him, I thought he was just a remarkable character from a book. You know the one, at his command, the fishermen dropped everything - their livelihood, family and hometown - and follow him into an uncertain future. You guessed it – Jesus.
Apparently, I must have made a pretty decent impression upon Tom because he remembered me. He shared a feedback that still has me smiling from ear to ear, and in his characteristic kindness, opened up opportunities beyond what I could have never imagined for myself.
One final note. Be like the mountain. Don’t be afraid to remain solidly in the background. Because the people who matter will notice your majesty.
The Christian Science Monitor asks, Is this the era of the quiet leader? I hope so. What are your thoughts?
- Being Present
- Congruent Living
- Getting Off the Couch
- Life Lessons from Sports
- Mental Clutter
- Overcoming Challenge
- Overcoming Sadness
- Positive Attitude
- Positive Self-Talk
- Pushing Limits
- Taking Action
- Time Management
- Trusting Yourself