In a prior post, Leadership - A Series of Thoughts, I began by asking for definitions of leadership. So I want to start my series with what I believe to be the most succinct definition of leadership: influence.
Simply stated by John Maxwell inDeveloping the Leader Within You, the definition of leadership is influence. Maxwell continues with his favorite leadership proverb:
Leadership assumes people will follow you not because you bare a title or rank. Now the question become, What do you do with the people who follow you?
Just as in real life, whether it's Assembly Chairman, Trium, Emperor, Deputy, Officer, or whatever title you bare in CN, there is a measure of influence attributed to these positions. It is up the leader to decide how to use that influence in regards to those whom is led. Will it be for the betterment of the alliance as a whole or to feed an ego that wants to be center stage? Is it all about you or about the alliance?
Under our influence, it is our task to raise up and train leaders - equip those who follow us. Andy Stanley, author of The Next Generation Leader, states "... leadership is not always about getting things done "right." Leadership is about getting things done through other people.....We must never forget that the people who follow us are exactly where we have led them. If there is no one to whom we can delegate, it is our own fault."
How are we going to use our influence when it comes to our alliance members? Whether we admit it or not, we will leave a legacy of how well we led (or not). The influence we assume must not be used to further any other agenda other than the betterment of the alliance we serve. To use it in any other fashion does not only our followers a great disservice but our alliance as well.
I look around and I see alliances led by teenagers and college students that are learning the very nature of what it means to be in leadership. I know this is a game; however, there are many life lessons to be learned through CN in my opinion. I have found CN to be not just a game where pixels are manipulated but a game where we interact with humans not NPC's. Learning to lead in the multi-cultural context of CN is a skill that, I believe, will make us all better leaders as we grow and develop.
In closing, I want to put a practical application to leadership that takes the "Influence" definition more personal. It is the quote in my sig, we must never assume that methodologies can do what only relationships can. -Walt Muller. Leadership is about the people we lead, the relationships built, and development of future leadership not about the position itself.
I look forward to our future discussions as we will talk about Vision Casting, Goal Setting, Decision Making, Leader Development, among other topics.