Friday, June 06, 2008

To Lead, You Must Love

“You can’t lead the people, if you don’t love the people. You can’t save the people, if you don’t serve the people.” - Cornel West, University Professor at Princeton

I came across this quote while I was drinking my morning cup of mild brew the other day. The quote was #284 from “The Way I See It” series on Starbuck’s 12 oz cup:

I personally think this quote is great. I know it uses the “L” word that is hard for people in the business world to incorporate into their daily language, but think about it. Doesn’t a leader need to love/respect/appreciate his followers to truly be an effective leader? Doesn’t there need to be some sort of relationship? Or, will the people follow out of obedience? And if so, does a leader want obedience or true commitment? To me, obeying an order is much different than committing to a task. True leaders gain commitment from their followers, not just compliance!

But then again, some leaders just want a task completed (which doesn’t take much commitment). Or wait; are these leaders, or actually just managers? What are your thoughts?


Anonymous said...

Hey Eric - glad to hear you're feeling better. What you say is so true and falls right in line with servant leadership; something I'm just starting to learn more about. Great concept!


Eric Peterson said...

Thanks Bob! It was good to see you back! Servant Leadership is definitely something I need to take to heart!