September 17, 2007

The Leadership Paradox

This past weekend I had the good fortune to facilitate a multiple-day leadership conference for 50 future leaders of a professional association. Designing and leading such events is my favorite work, and I am grateful to do so for a few organization annually.

Despite the efforts of many people for many years, several of the discussions from the conference suggest that leadership is still too frequently associated with positional power as opposed to the contributions individuals make. And here is the paradox:

Individuals don't take certain actions because they feel they aren't in leadership positions, but making leadership contributions often is the only way to earn the credibility and recognition that gets you selected for positions of leadership.

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