Sunday, September 10, 2006

'Leadership is a Decision' - Brian Ward

Brian Ward and Judy Worrell
  • In my long healthcare management career I worked for many leaders, some good and some not so good.
  • During my career I have been in leadership positions.
  • I studied leadership for my dissertation when I did my MA Management (Health Care) in the mid 1990's.
  • I have maintained my interest in leadership and it is a topic that fascinates me and many other people.
  • In the last 30 years I have seen many wordy and academic definitions of leadership. All of them are, no doubt, very worthy.

However I like simplicity and a couple of years ago, in conversation with my good friend Brian Ward from Edmonton, Canada, Brian came up with a wonderful definition that has stayed with me. Whenever I think about Brian’s definition it re-assures me that simplicity really is the key.

Brian said ‘Leadership is a decision.’

Isn’t that neat? – The most economic use of words that says it all.

I think what Brian means is that we all have a choice about leadership. We can try and ‘take control’ of things or allow things ‘to be done to us.’

Any aspiring leader would, in my opinion, do well to consider Brian’s wise words carefully. We can all learn a lot through reading books about leadership but in the final analysis leadership comes from within. Some people choose the road of taking control and others do not.

Leadership is a decision’ – I love it – thank you Brian.

Brian and his partner Judy Worrell run Affinity Consulting in Canada and his new Website is well worth a visit – click here


Brian said...

Thanks Trevor! Yes, I believe that leadership is a decision, and not a position. Which of course means that you do not have to be in a manager position to 'take the lead'. In fact, many organizations now embrace this as an expectation of every employee.

Simple, but not easy.

There are still many managers, even in enlightened organizations, who put obstacles in the way of employees showing such initiative. These organizations WILL struggle and many will fail.

It's up to folks like yourself and Annie, and myself and Judy, to 'rattle their cage'! Let's wake 'em up!

Trevor Gay said...

Let's keep 'rattling' my friend!

Look forward to our next 'Gunnness foursome' :-)

Rocky said...

The more I work at this leadership thing the more I realize the truth in that statement. Leadership is a decision and it is not a one time thing. You must decide to lead in each and every occasion. Well put Brian and Trevor.

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Rocky - it's like the 'old days' with you me and Brian exchanging comments - let's keep rattling the cage!! :-)