As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence.
The next best, the people honor and praise.
The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate.
…When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves!’– Lao Tzu
How do we lead? Lao Tzu describes three types of leaders with three leadership motives.
We can understand the motivations by asking: why do we lead? If we are honest we’ll see some measure of all three of these motivations in ourselves:
1. Seeking Higher Status, Respect and Rewards
Leaders motivated by their own interests think respect and loyalty are owed instead of something earned. They value the success of their group only in as much as it results in recognition for themselves.
2. Seeking Approval and Friendship
Leaders motivated by the desire for approval and friendship may lose perspective of the goals of the group. They may offer favors or special treatment or be concerned more about how popular they are than the success of the group.
3. Helping others Succeed
Leaders who will sacrifice their own rewards and comfort in seeking success for the group.
Bill McMahon says
Clarke you missed the most important reason for leading, knee socks!!!
Bill Macfarlane says
While it is only my opinion, I believe the order of these three should be reversed.
The number one reason I’m a leader is to ‘help others succeed’ and I take enjoyment from seeing a scout teach another, watching a patrol work together as a team, seeing a Scout rank, or a successful PLC plan coming through to completion. (Not that every plan happens as expected but those tales are best around the campfire.)
As for “Seeking Higher Status, Respect and Rewards”, you wont find my uniform adorned with lots of knots and I tire of working with ‘tin horn” Scouters.