Leadership quiz

You probably imagine leaders as serious, mature, distinguished and reasonable people always knowing how to behave, how to talk, how to make the right things to constantly personify our aspirations. Right?

Well, I gather that the leadership quiz takes place in the moments when the leader is in a ridiculous situation – a silly flop or mistake.  For instance when the biking leader falls off his bike.  Or he slips on the floor of the impressive corporate auditorium full of people.  Or he stammers during a speech with profound message.  In such moments the leader’s performance and behavior can and will be promptly judged by anybody, regardless of position.  In such moments the voices, opinions and jokes wrap the helpless leader in ridiculous, embarrassing or uncomfortable veils.  In such moments the respect a leader gained and maintained over time is quickly put to test within seconds.

It is the pay-back time, the moment when the level of the leader falls down abruptly to the level of his followers.  There is a collective memory that doesn’t forget or forgive – no matter how long it takes to manifest itself.  The sudden fall of a leader, let’s say from a bike or podium, reveals to any observer the naked reality of the relations and performance of the team and its leader.

It is then the time when the leader’s behavior, before and during the embarrassing situation, may or may not pass the test.  The leader who had understanding for other people’s mistakes may have a chance to be granted understanding.  The leader who ignored or stressed other people’s difficulties, regardless of the noble reason or purpose, will face the same unforgiving treatment.

However in the moments of leader’s embarrassment his adepts/fans/followers also take the quiz to evaluate their level of understanding, maturity and respect to themselves and to the cause served by the leader … together.

 “Our mistakes do not necessarily define us.  If we’re lucky, they simply tell us who we are and what we are made of.”