Strong Leadership is cognizant of the fact that leadership is tenuous. Leaders only have the authority that they do have, as those who are following give it to them. As a result of this “giving of authority”, the followers can also take such authority away at any time.
Leadership is a heady responsibility, as it is nothing less than looking after the interests of other people. The interest the leader looks after is the follower’s very well-being. In the case of employment scenarios, the leader (and their choices), very often effect the follower in a real way. The leader’s choices can effect the follower’s economy and, consequently, their lifestyle and ability to provide for their family (if only for a time).
Those being lead, want to feel as though their ideas and needs are being met. In an environment in which those following are given a voice, it would well serve the leader to listen to the articulated needs of those following, lest the leader find themselves out of a job, have a mutiny upon their hands or have their authority taken away by those who have given it.
Jim Hart is the founder of The International Theatre Academy Norway, The Hart Technique and Austin Conservatory of Professional Arts.