There is this “new fad”: we are inundated by people talking about “manufacturing authority”. Their idea is to create something that doesn’t exist. Today I would like to talk about something we all crave, instead: real leadership.
When Pope Francis canonized Mother Theresa, he said “I think, perhaps, we may have some difficulty in calling her St. Teresa: Her holiness is so near to us, so tender and so fruitful, that we continue to spontaneously call her Mother Teresa.”
In other words, Mother Theresa was the real deal. There was no need to “manufacture” her authority. When the Pope decided to canonize her, it was only a recognition of her contribution.
First and foremost, she was a champion for the success of the people she helped. We have no doubt in our mind that she genuinely cared.
She was congruent.
What about charisma? I believe charisma is expressed in different ways. To me, she was a very charismatic leader without necessarily being an extrovert seeking the spotlight all the time.
She was trusted and had credibility, which didn’t come from “manufacturing her leadership” but from her knowledge and her behavior. (Yes, authority implies solid knowledge. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have been able to create what she created. And there was that congruent behavior that came from doing her work every day in harmony with her values).
She took the responsibility wisely. It is easier to stay small, never stand out and not being criticized. Of course, it is easier. We can stay in the comfort of the mass and the illusion of being liked and accepted by everybody.
There are many rewards when people like us – modern professionals, experts and entrepreneurs with a mission and a message – decide to take the responsibility to lead: trust, credibility and love. (Yes, you don’t hear me talk about love a lot but in honor of Mother Theresa, here we go).
That is the kind of Leading Authority that each of us doing good work in our business should aspire to be in our little corner of the world.
Till next time… remember your awesomeness is portable. You can take it with you anywhere.