Lead good people down a wrong path
and you’ll come to a bad end;
do good and you’ll be rewarded for it. (The Book of Proverbs, Chapter 28, Verse 10, The Message, BibleGateway.com)
Isn’t it amazing how right Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was?
L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux. [What is essential is invisible to the eye.] (The Little Prince)
So what is important for a leader? Quo vadis? Where are you going? Actually, I should make it personal: Where am I going? Where am I taking folks? The real answer here is not some physical place. It may look that way, but it is not. It is not the top of the hill. It is not the end of the obstacle course. It is not graduation. It is not publication. It is not even money. Once I know why I am leading and where, only then should I focus on how.
A Sherpa guide isn’t just leading a climber to the top of Everest. The true goal is a thing of the heart. It indeed cannot be seen. Keep asking why. You will find out. If I ask, “Why are you climbing Everest,” and the climber says, “To get to the top,” we should both have a good laugh at the absurdity of the answer. Then we should keep going with the question “Why?” until why can not be asked any more.
Every day my five-year old daughter asks me why more times than I can remember. I either give her an answer that causes me to learn or an answer that is really no answer at all.
Whom do you lead? Why? “Quo vadis?”
Some resources for finding answers to where, why, and how leadership questions:
Also published on Medium.