On Leadership


In a gentle way, you can shake the world.

Mahatma Ghandi

I believe there are two (or rather, at least two ) types of leaders in a crisis... type one - the ones who beat their chest, make a fuss and "command" in a very physical way (come on now, we all know at least one person like this) and type two - the ones who calmly proceed, give simple direction and begin to move forward. I don't mean to say that one is better than they other - they are equal, perhaps best suited to different tasks, but both capable of accomplishing great things.

Being the quiet leader can often come across as being inexperienced and unknowledgeable. It's anything but. It's simply that most quiet leaders refuse to expend their energy hopping from one foot to another making noise and would much rather get to work.

It seems to me that it's vital to know which you are, particuarly in a crisis, and to hold fast to that spotlight and accept that some people will be moved by you and some just won't. The best leaders know their strengths, be they quiet or forceful, introverted or extroverted, and they use them, authentically.

It's the effective difference between Malcolm X and Dr. King... both powerful leaders, necessary for the forward movement of civil rights, but integrally different in their leadership. One forceful, one quiet. Each changing the world in their own way.