Take Me to Your Leader

I was raised on a healthy ration of science fiction movies made in the 50’s and 60’s.  These low-budget works typically involved aliens clad in shiny cloth robes, who remarkably did not look that different from us.  Sometimes the producer would kick in a few extra dollars to buy silver metallic makeup to smear on the faces of the actors.  The plot always involved sinister extraterrestrials whose goal was to dominate our planet.

As a teenager watching these cinematic masterpieces, I always awaited one much-anticipated line to be spoken.  Invariably, within seconds of the space saucer’s door opening; the chief alien would speak those magic words.  “Take me to your leader!”

The townspeople, usually from some rural farming area, would scramble to find the mayor or the chief of police.  In some of the more ambitious plots, these same folks would scramble to get a hold of the President of the United States.  I am sure that the elderly gal on the town’s telephone switchboard just happened to have his number handy!

It will never cease to amaze me how the world equates a title with leadership.  If you are a CEO, a chief of any kind, a president, or even a director; it is presumed that you are a leader.  It is as if there was a special badge issued when you were promoted to a certain level of authority and responsibility.  In the immortal words of Mel Brooks, “We don’t need no stinking badges!”

Every day, I see leadership being exemplified.  Usually it comes from the most unlikely sources and is displayed by people who you would never think of as leaders.  That then begs an answer as to what exactly a leader is!  It does not come from your title or your standing within an organization.  Rather, it comes from within!

Managers and executives execute projects.  They have a specific end goal in mind, a time limit to complete the effort, and a resource pool to draw from.  They then define success when they reach the goal on time and within budget.  Leaders, on the other hand, are the keepers of the keys to vision.  They inspire and mentor those around them.  In short, they turn others into believers and doers.

Ironically, managers think that their purpose is to be served.  Leaders acknowledge that their purpose is to serve.  A great cathedral or monument is only as strong as its foundation.  That foundation always begins with a cornerstone.  A true leader takes this piece of knowledge to heart and uses it to build his architectural masterpiece!

Leadership begins with integrity.  The leader must develop a value system and an unwavering commitment not to deviate from that system.  Then through word and deed, they share those strands called values in a tapestry of integrity.  What is the end result?  In a word, it is “trust.”  Once established, trust becomes the clear channel of communication for the leader.  The only thing left is to add a few dashes of inspiration and the recipe for leadership is complete.

I would have loved for one of those cheesy old sci-fi movies to have taken an unexpected twist.  Perhaps they should have brought the “school marm” out to meet the aliens!

About Jerry V. Dollar, Author, Humorist, Observer of the Human Condition

When not trekking around the globe, Jerry Dollar can be found in Colorado Springs, CO where he lives with his wife Robbi. Besides an affinity for writing and travel; he is also an avid bodybuilder, a very prolific reader, and an enthusiastic observer of the human condition. Jerry has published two books which are available on: Lulu, Amazon, Kindle, Nook, and IBook. "Announcing a Flight Delay" is a hilarious recap of the author's experiences as a million mile flyer. "A Dollar's Worth" is a collection of observations on the human condition, which originally appeared as blog posts. Dr. Dollar has served in various senior executive management capacities over the past 25 years. He has previously worked within the healthcare, insurance, software, and several other high technology industries. Jerry is recognized for his expertise in creating the foundations for emerging organizations to succeed in complex sales environments. He is also well known for his leadership in guiding technology companies through rapid growth phases. Jerry speaks five languages and has conducted business in over 70 countries on six continents. He holds particular expertise in the Latin American and Western European geographic areas. Dr. Dollar holds a BA in International Affairs, a BA in Spanish, an MBA in Marketing, and a PhD in Organizational Development. He has authored numerous professional articles, various training courses, and has conducted seminars and conferences around the world.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Take Me to Your Leader

  1. Ed Israel says:

    Great thoughts Jerry. I too watched those movies. I believe today’s leader must install a system of running a business that drives his or her ideals into the organization. It must be divided between day to day operations, and execution of strategic initiatives. It must be measured, and everyone must have line of sight to their role. I also believe we are moving into the age of the employee so the CEO has a moral, social, and economic imperative to create a model for everyone in the company to be successful.

  2. Ken Brown says:

    I watched the movie, The King’s Speech”, yesterday and I see the Leadership qualities you speak of in the Prince, “Bearty.” Here was a man that understood his role in the family business to serve the common man. He didn’t see himself as a king or leader. He never even imagined himself in that role. But, once he was forced into the role he slowly took on the crown of leadership of his people. King George VI had that inner quality of integrity and he developed the trust of his people by showing leadership in all aspects of his life.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s