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Leadership is not a Hostile Takeover

I had a chat with a supervisor-figure about a committee I am leading. I shared a couple challenges, and she gave some helpful nuggets for team engagement. At the end of our chat, she said, and with encouraging force, "Just lead!"

Here's the backstory --

Leading a committee is a great opportunity to learn about one's leadership practice. Application is the proof of preparation, right? I want to call myself a macro-consensus builder. I understand that I am meeting with adults, and I have an expectation of them taking initiative -- seeing the need and stepping up to fill the gap, according to their capacity. The committee is great, but not very engaged and for various reasons.

My expertise is in toxic leadership, so there is always a running tape in my mind of destructive behaviors. I can notice them. I want to avoid them.

A hostile takeover is an acquisition of something against the wishes of the owner.

Eminent domain is the right of the government or its agent to expropriate private property for public use with payment of compensation.

So after this chat, my prevailing thought was this: there is no eminent domain in healthy leadership. Leadership is not a hostile takeover. Healthy leadership requires no force because healthy leaders focus on people. "Just lead" means different things to all of us in terms of our leadership practice. What it certainly should mean is that we are not tyrants, dictators, or bullies.

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