Look & Posture Of Leaders: Is It Whacked Out?

Read More: Leadership

Miriam BuhrHave you ever heard of any of these statements before?

  “Leaders are Not Born...”


“Leaders have Nothing in Common.”

If you’ve read some of Seth Godin’s work, you’re more likely familiar with his thought process which embraces those statements.  The ONE thing he believes leaders have in COMMON is simply “the decision to lead.”

When considering the character of a tribe leader, the decision to lead by far is of utmost importance. So I wholeheartedly agree with Seth Godin’s line of thinking.

Yet, after an thought provoking mastermind session with a colleague where we focused on the idea of leadership, I began to also think about the idea of mentorship.

In essence, is there a difference between the look of a leader and the posture of a leader?

(Keep reading I’ll tell you the difference)!

Leadership vs. Mentorship.

If there is a difference, how does mentorship relate to leadership? Is leadership similar to mentorship?

It felt as if I hit GOLD and was on a roll.

That’s when my mental wheels went on STEROIDS, I kept thinking… “if Seth Godin says that leaders are not born and that they have nothing in common, does that then mean that “mentors are not born,” and that “mentors also have nothing in common?”

Come on SWEETS…is there something good in this line of thinking?

I say yes because other concepts and ideas started popping in my head especially some of the concepts and ideas that Danny Ivy and 30 other leaders (Guy Kawasaki, Brian Clark, Mark Shaefer…to name a few) brought to light in his newly released book titled, “Engagement From Scratch! How Super-Community Builders Create A Loyal Audience And How You Can Do The Same!” (I suggest that you grab your copy which right now you can get at no cost over at EngagementFromScratch.com).

This one quote from Danny’s book just kept coming back to mind. He said,

“Try to run before you learn to walk, and you’ll never stop crawling.”

Read that quote again.

It’s a bit like a FORMULA for failure and even an ingrained state of mediocrity which some entrepreneurs or change agents find themselves in the midst.

That one quote was what inspired me to revisit Seth Godin’s book, Tribes, and read once again his thoughts about leadership.

Process vs. Endpoint.

Remember that...

Everybody is going through a process.

As a leader you are in a position of power and what you do and don’t do influences your students, protégés, mentees…your loyal followers.

Everybody is affected from top-down, sideways, down-up…did I say EVERYBODY is affected!

I also believe that RESPONSIBILITY comes with the role of a leader… if you’re not willing to take that on then you’re really not leading.

If there is no communication, everybody is interpreting the situation however it fits their situation or so that they can make sense of perceived inconsistencies.

Just think of your nation’s leaders. How do you currently interpret their communication style?

COMMUNICATION is essential for leaders… if you’re not willing to keep communication portals open then is it safe to say that you’re leading.

How are you getting information from your tribe? Who is feeding you the concerns of your tribe? How are you listening to the heartbeat of your community?

If there’s little to no communication, there’s not much LEADING.

In the military, a commanding officer is considered the one to have the best interest of his crew in mind. He admits failure when things don’t go as plan, but he has a way of finding out the concerns of his loyal crew. He empowers them with his TRANSPARENCY, and more often than not is the last man standing.

It’s not to say that you’re dumb or a fool if you’re the last one on the ship because if you really look at it you do have the ability to get off.

I’m also not saying that you be stupid enough to stay on so you drown but more so have the guts to show and expose a BRAVE HEART that is willing to lead others out of stormy waters even if what you see is an eminent TITANIC DEBACLE.

Take The Follow.

You probably know of some leaders that have snatched leadership positions just because they could or it made sense at the time.

However there are times when taking a back seat makes more sense.

Seth Godin says that “Leading when you don’t know where to go, when you don’t have the commitment or the PASSION, or worst of all, when you can’t overcome your FEAR-that sort of leading is worse than none at all.”

So getting out of the way and taking the follow for some may seem like a coward’s way but in reality that, in and of itself, is braver than brave because it takes GUTS to admit to others and even to self that “the plan” didn’t go as you envisioned.

People who adopt the employee model believe that things happened to you at work, at school, at places you happen to be in or at. Yet leaders, who take on an entrepreneurial model, believe things just don’t happen TO you. They take on responsibility. They are the ones that DO things.


The Timing of Leadership.

The timing of leadership varies. There’s always risk not only when you lead but also when you follow.

Knowing what role to take on is sometimes more obvious to the one contemplating a leadership role than those that make up his tribe.

So then the posture of a leader can tell you lots.


The Posture of A Leader.

According to Seth Godin, “what’s helpful is to realize that you have a choice when you communicate.”

You can do explicit things to make it obvious for others to understand you.

The responsibility rests on you.

No guesswork.

No mental games.

No drama.



Seth Godin says because YOU ultimately “get to choose who will understand (and who won’t).”

Now that’s the LOOK and POSTURE of a Leader!


If you’ve had to follow, how did it feel to EMBRACE that role?

Great leaders know when to lead and when to follow.

And if you really think about it, we're doing one or the other in different areas of our lives.

Would love to hear your experience!

Keep the conversation going....

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About the Author: Miriam Buhr

Member Since: 01/24/2010

Company: MiriamBuhr.com

Industry: Training and Development

Primary Web Site: http://www.MiriamBuhr.com


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