Tuesday, August 26, 2014

On leadership

The most effective form of leadership is supportive. It is collaborative. It is never assigning a task role or function to another that we ourselves would not be willing to perform. For all practical purposes, leading well is as simple as remembering to remain others-centered instead of self-centered.

That quote is from this awesome blog post from the Harvard Business Review's blog entitled "Great leadership isn't about you."

When I think about the people in Librarianship that I admire, the quality they have in common is that they tirelessly advocate for others. In some cases, it's advocating on behalf of library users. In other cases, it's advocating on behalf of colleagues. But in every case, they are focused on someone other than themselves.

It's an admirable quality, really, being an others-centered leader. And not one that regularly wins recognition or awards.

For better and worse, Librarianship seems to give the microphone to the people who already have the loudest voices. Sometimes those people have great ideas and a collaborative vision for bringing those ideas to fruition. Sometimes, however, those people have self-promotion as their number one priority.

So, my challenge is two-fold:

1. Let's make sure that we, as a profession, identify and promote the best ideas. Even when those ideas don't come from the people we naturally think of as Libraryland Leaders.

2. Let's become the kind of people who put the best interests of our users ahead of our own self-promotion.

Stay positive,

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