I know that you’re probably tired of hearing about An Unexpected Journal, but I think I have one more week of posts to share with you about it because it is something that really has changed the way I look at problems. I never really have had this type of leadership role before. I have certainly worked on coordinating activities and things like that with other people, but I took on a very active role in this project from the beginning. It is certainly not because I am the most capable. If anything, I am moderately good at a little bit of everything. We have better writers than me, better editors than me, better graphic designers than me and better marketers than me. Trust me, all you have to do is read the articles to see that I am not even close to the most talented member of our team.
That being said, I think that this quote from Charles S Lauer pretty much sums up my contribution to this project:
Leaders don’t force people to follow; they invite them on a journey.
I think that has been the magic of this entire project so far. We have been on a journey together. I have tried to be deliberate about that in my coordination efforts. We have so many talented people coming together on this project, and my job has been to make sure that we are moving on the same journey.
Of course, we could all do projects on our own. Obviously, this website is a project I do on my own as my own personal blog. I am moving on my own journey as I do that, and many of our contributors actually have their own similar types of projects. That does not take any leadership from me beyond encouraging people to do that. They were doing that anyway, and the most I can be to them on their own projects is an encouragement.
However, when we come together, we need to make sure that we are moving in the same direction. We need to make sure that we are on this journey together. All of our efforts might be amazing, but if we do not have that unification, it would be really difficult to put together a project as a team.
I’m not claiming to be any expert on leadership or anything like that, but this is something that has stood out to me as a truth that I accidentally stumbled into. We began this as a group project. We began this as a journey together, and my main job has largely been to make sure we stay on track and remain focused. From the beginning, we have had a unified vision. I can’t take credit for that of course as that credit belongs to the entire team, but it is something I have learned about leadership from this project. I have a few more thoughts for you this week about leadership lessons I’ve learned.