For the past year, I’ve been working in the medical device industry. I’ve really enjoyed the work and the people I work with on a daily basis. There’s a good mix of personalities and people to keep things interesting, and we all have different backgrounds. One of the things I’ve noticed in this job, that has been true whether it was in the Army or other positions I’ve held, is that leaders intuitively lead.
It sounds trite, but I try to pay attention on how this usually works. Most of the leaders I’ve had the pleasure of working with were natural leaders not because “leaders are born, not made”, but because they genuinely cared about the success of their peers and the job they were doing. I see this in my current job with a sales professional who while holding no managerial position, keeps his accounts, his equipment and his territory managed expertly while also keeping all of his peers excited to work with him.
Good leadership can be as hard to find as the rare blend of tobacco this man found on his mystical quest…
There’s no flashy secret, gimmicky marketing or anything else, he’s just a pleasant person to work with, has a vision for where he wants our product and numbers to be, and works well with others. Whenever I think about a leader, the only question that really matters to me is “would you listen to them and would you do what they say?” Everything else is just metrics, but if folks won’t listen to their boss, manager or leader, then they are by default, not a leader.
Leaders don’t need to lead everything at every time in their life. Peer leadership and development usually happens when someone is excited about what they are doing and motivates their peers. Or when a more experienced person mentors the younger generation, looking out for their career or personal interests. It doesn’t need to be that complicated, but good leadership boils down to people taking charge and leading, regardless of title or position.