Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. King had numerous skills and gifts as a leader. One was that he was an incredible communicator and public speaker. His speeches still inspire people today.
He was also consistent. He stated in his first days of his social justice movement that he would not partake in any violence, only peaceful protesting. And anyone on his team would also follow suit. And he led with peace through every day of his movement.
Golly! This guy had the shortest leadership journey — just 3 years — and the longest lasting impact… 2000+ years as of yet. He was kind and compassionate with every single person He came in contact with. Not just his team of 12, not just the children, but everyone. He spoke with gentleness, respect and truth. He also asked good questions to guide people to the truth, allowing people space to determine their own needs before pointing them a certain direction.
Joan of Arc
Consider Joan of Arc, a female military leader in the early 1400s was unheard of and initially unlawful. Unable to read, write, and with little to no military training, Joan of Arc led France into a victorious battle during a long-running war with England. She didn’t allow her shortcomings nor her gender to keep her from fulfilling her calling — to free France from England.
She focused on what she had. And for the things she didn’t have, she asked. She was courageous in asking the right questions to the right people — asking the king at the time for her to lead the charge. Joan of Arc was also courageous in physically leading the troops into battle — a task initially considered unlawful for women to do. She did not avoid conflict – she tackled conflict head on. Joan of Arc led with courage and kept her purpose at the forefront.
Bonus: A Personal Leader of Mine
A personal leader of mine, my first mentor at WinShape Teams, Jesse Parrish, has been an incredible leader for me and for our organization. The first time I met Jesse, he got to know me as a person, eager to learn my life story, how I ended up in Rome, Georgia, and in my role at WinShape Teams. He genuinely wanted to know what gets me out of bed in the morning… besides breakfast. He observed me as I worked and learned what my gifts are. He taught me (along with the rest of the team) the fundamentals of being a good Facilitator (my first job at WinShape Teams).
And then, he trusted me. And he still does. He trusts I will care for clients and the team well. He trusts I know everything I need to know in order to be a good, impactful Facilitator. He allows space for me to make mistakes and graciously gives me even more space to keep learning.
Jesse knows me, he cares about me, he trusts me, and he gives me space to learn and grow on my own.