Cultivating and Curating Leadership
People often ask me about my company name. Moonfish Production, Ltd. “Where did you come up with the name, ‘Moonfish?’” They’re looking for some romantic or really interesting story, and, really, there isn’t one. Here’s the deal: I have always been enchanted by and physically-influenced by the moon. Also, astrologically, I am a Pisces. The fishes. So there you have it: Moon Fish.
I identify very highly with Pisces. We are Yin and Yang. A duality, in everything. We can be dark, and moody, and bright and sunny. We can be artists, and we can be mathematicians. We can dawdle (don’t I know THAT), and we can execute. And, we can be leaders, and we can be followers.
I know how to lead, and I believe (like most) that I am a good leader. If there is an opportunity, or a leadership void, I can jump right in, and create order, assess the situation, confidently pick a direction, and execute.
BUT, the most important attribute of being a good leader is knowing how to, every once in a while, be a good follower. And I can follow directions and rules from a good leader like a champ, if that’s my role.
A leader needs to know when to lead, and when to let someone else lead for whatever reason. Sometimes you’re not equipped to lead. Other times, you don’t have enough information, or you aren’t trained to lead in certain circumstances. Sometimes, you just don’t WANT to lead. And sometimes, you need to let someone else lead, so they can learn. And THIS is sometimes the most challenging and frustrating situation for any good leader, but can also be the most rewarding.
Leadership quality is innate, but the tactical piece of it is a skill, and skills need to be practiced, developed and honed. Successful leadership is forged through trial and error. It is finely-tuned and adjusted through failure, and celebrated and advanced through achievement.
But, if people aren’t taught, or given the chance to learn to lead, they won’t. They can’t.
This is where we, as a group, need to be more generous with our skills, our time, and our genuine selves. You aren’t going to be doing this (whatever THIS is) forever, and the people who are coming behind you are not there to steal your job or somehow take your place. We have all created your own legacies. If you haven’t, now’s a great time to start. You teaching, giving and leading, is part of that personal legacy, and believe it or not, part of your personal growth as a pro and as a human. Most people know a leader and a pro when they see them. Trust me, if people are seeking you out for answers, you, my friend, are a leader. Accept it and act like it. Be a mentor. Be a teacher. Be open and confidently share your skills, opinions and selves. Circumstances change and people need to learn new things all the time. Be there. Be present for others. Our link to the people next to us, or behind us is an awesome obligation, but one that we must embrace. Like it or not, we are responsible for the cultivation and the curation of our own future.