What is leadership?
The word ‘leadership’ is often used these days in business. Instead of saying ‘executives or manager’ I often hear the word ‘leadership’.
What does this mean? What caused the shift in language. When did you first notice this.
Depending on your role, it means different things to different people. For me, leadership means this…
There are 3 things to remember about being a Starship captain:
- Keep your shirt tucked in
- Go down with the ship
- Never leave a crew member behind
Old school as it may sound, the first point is obvious. A well dressed person exudes confidence [especially if their talk can backup the look!]. It also gives the impression they have things in control. In order. Even if they don’t.
The second point is a long standing ritual that the captain goes down with the ship. Its a commitment to the crew.
The third follows the same sentiment — the crew is the most important thing. Something Janeway routinely demonstrated in her daily interactions and decisions.
This clip of Janeway was one of her best moments as Captain of Voyager in Star Trek. One I often remember, yet hard to live by.
Firstly, because I never went down with the ship. Second, I didn’t have the privilege of leaving no-one behind. Believe me, I had to leave a lot of good colleagues (crew) and friends after leaving an organization. Some friendships continued and grew stronger over the years. Others didn’t. And although some or most of us are not able to follow these three Janeway rules, I still believe this is the foundational mindset any leader should have.
If you search for “leadership” in any business page, you will be bombarded with a list of posts to read. Just checkout some of Harvard Business Review leadership posts.
As a Scrum Master in software development, I have a commitment to my team (my crew). I also have a duty to the business (Starfleet). There are choices that are made on a daily basis circled around this. Some visible. Some hidden. Its our daily actions and interactions that embodies our values, our commitment. Its no easy task. Sometimes like parents, you have to be the bad guy. Usually these are not instant gratification stuff but rather lessons for the long haul. These are harder to teach because they harder to see instantly. We want instant gratification. Social media, the world, is built around it. I guess that’s another topic for another day.
I question and reflect on decisions I made or even when I decided with intention to take no action [these can be the most powerful, depending on the situation of course]. I mean, what kind of a Scrum Master would I be if I didn’t reflect often. Not doubt yourself. Just reflect. Look for improvements… e.g. If I could redo that, how would I do that differently, or would I?
The things that stick in our memory are usually the things we feel the most.
For me, there’s no better leader to look up to in the fictional world, as well as the real one. Kate Mulgrew wrote Born with Teeth and How to forget.
Who influences you?
Do you live those values daily. We need to live by our values and principles more than ever! Do you know someone who leads with courage. Who stands by their values. Will confront a bully but still bearing enough heart to empathize. One who listens and is not afraid to make unfavorable decisions. And one who never abandons a member of their crew…