You may be seated. But where will you sit? At the moment that those words are spoken, you are faced with a choice. I scour the people in the room looking for smiles, I look for a location that allows me to have easy access to an exit, I look for tall people (because I want to be able to see), I want to face the front, I don’t want to inconvenience anyone by stepping over them or making them move… This is me… you may have totally different characteristics that drive your decision.
As we open our eyes, every morning, we are faced with decisions. One of the most important decisions is where we are going to take a seat as a leader. We face a multitude of options…
- The type of seat
- The location of the seat
- The size of the seat
- The sturdiness of the seat
So, as we jump into this deepend of this blog, I want you to take this idea of taking a seat and apply it to being a leader, being surrounded by leaders, and following leaders.
A leader is someone that shows not tells. They inspire others to show off their gifts not to hide them. They build up their tribe and allow them to build each other up. A leader views everyone’s ideas and allows those ideas to blossom and flourish.Beth Bartley- Ignite- New Haven
Types of Leaders
THE FREE-SPIRIT LEADER
- The type of seat: Mobile or possibly non-existent
- The location of the seat: The surroundings matter… inspirational
- The size of the seat: Not huge because it could be overwhelming and hard to manage
- The sturdiness of the seat: Provides some support, but allows you to be you
The Free-Spirit Leader trusts you and the choices that you make.
Someone who leads without anyone knowing their being lead. Leads by example and as a colleague not a boss. Encourager, igniter, and positive.Heather McGlone- Ignite- Boston
THE PEOPLE LEADER
- The type of seat: People are able to see one another and engage in active conversations
- The location of the seat: Out in the open; where others can see the transparent leading
- The size of the seat: Makes sure that everyone can fit; doesn’t push people into the uncomfortable
- The sturdiness of the seat: Provides a firm structure and foundation and fully supports decisions
The People Leader helps you to find your gifts and connects you with others who can inspire you.
A leader is someone who is selfless. They give up the good of themself for the good of the group. They sacrifice their comfort to take risks and help others grow and achieve their goals.Tj Metcalf- Ignite- Bloomfield Middle
THE ENVIRONMENT-DRIVEN LEADER
- The type of seat: It is all about comfort
- The location of the seat: This is the focus area… surrounded by like-minded leaders in a thriving culture
- The size of the seat: Limited- not many feel safe due to being out in the open
- The sturdiness of the seat: Provides a basic structure because the focus isn’t what you are sitting on, rather where you are sitting
The Environment-Driven Leader gives you a comfortable surrounding where you are able to search inside and find out who you are.
A leader is someone who works to identify, inspire, develop, and celebrate others’ gifts and skills. A leader isn’t someone who is in the limelight, front and center. If anything, they are often in the background or on the bottom rung of the ladder, lifting others to grow and shine.Kelsey Berryman- Ignite- Cox’s Creek Elementary
THE BE-LIKE-THEM LEADER
- The type of seat: The seat can be found many places and have often been branded with a name
- The location of the seat: Close together to be able to see what each other are doing
- The size of the seat: Small; not many choices; just as long as you are close to the one who you are supposed to fill their shoes
- The sturdiness of the seat: Foundation is strong; the leader knows what they want and are working on creating replicas
The Be-Like-Them Leader pushes you into a direction of someone they feel will help you to grow and push you to be a better person.
A leader is someone selfless who puts the needs of other before their own. They have an end in mind and work toward the greater good of the whole group, encouraging others along the way.Shelby rouse- Ignite- Foster Heights Elementary
THE RULE-FOLLOWING LEADER
- The type of seat: Designed to be 360 degrees so they can watch all around
- The location of the seat: Out in the open; no view will be obstructed
- The size of the seat: Small; not many like to be rule followers, but when you get a group of them together- they have each other’s back
- The sturdiness of the seat: Strong; covered enough for protection from various elements
The Rule-Following Leader watches out for you in all situations as you are pushing boundaries and often you are better off asking forgiveness.
A leader is steady. They inspire, guide, encourage and listen with subtlety. Affirmation and recognition to others is honest and meaningful. They are able to provide a safety net while encouraging others to soar.Nikki Lafollette- ignite- Old KY Home Middle
the three truths
Truth #1: being a Leader
We need to be able to fit into each of the types of leaders mentioned above. We must be able to adapt for others. The reality is everyone is going to need us to be sitting with them, wherever they may be.
Truth #2: Surrounded by Leaders
We need all types of leaders in our lives; ones who inspire, rough us up, give us goals, and provide us with opportunities. The one consistency here is that someone will be sitting there waiting for us to arrive.
Truth #3: Following Leaders
We need to have a direction to go based on the situations we face. As if we do not face enough decisions in a day, here is another one we must make based on our needs. We must search for a leader that will provide for us.
In the game of life, we are playing musical chairs. When one door opens, one door closes. We cannot limit ourselves to ONE type of leader that we are compatible with. We have to trust ourselves and those leaders that are surrounding us. In this moment… today… now… presently…