In the film “The Wizard of Oz”, the great and powerful Oz intones, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” when he is eventually revealed to be not a wizard but a mere mortal. Yet even in that guise, he helps Dorothy and her friends discover intelligence, courage, love, and direction – at least one-way home.
You don’t need to be a wizard, a witch, or the President of INSERT PREFERRED COUNTRY HERE (substitution of “flying monkey” acceptable) to be a leader! Whatever your place, in any environment, in any situation – a town meeting, a retail establishment, a business or non-profit organization, your child’s school, home, or Kansas – you can be a leader to those in your orbit and beyond. The prescribed role you play in your constellation doesn’t define or confine your ability to be a STAR and shine – to have an impact, generate new ideas, “add value”, build relationships, create real, positive, and lasting change with and for those around you, and (happy by-product) for yourself!
This idea of “leading through assistance” came to me because what I do in nearly all aspects of my life is assist others. I support and facilitate, navigate, and coordinate, demarcate, and delineate, elaborate, and consolidate, illustrate, and illuminate, document and circulate, compensate, and compromise, organize, and prioritize.
RAP INTERLUDE: I juggle while dancing and answering the phone; I work from an office, cafes, and my home; I send off ten emails while Skyping with Spain; go to sleep much too late and then do it again!
In this service to others, through the support I give, the assistance I provide - I lead the way for colleagues, friends, and family to “ease on down the road” to explore and discover new opportunities, new competencies, new constellations of people to share the road with, and the space to do that thing they do without encumbrance or concern.
VISUAL IMAGING INTERLUDE: Imagine here a field of poppies threatening to dull your senses or a grove of ornery apple trees keen to pummel you with their fruit.
OK, as a self-identified “assistant” and with “professional services” a major part of my business name, I strive to cut a swathe of clarity through the dullness (“poppies!”), insure safe passage and protection from distractions and, hopefully no instances of pain, (“Are you hinting my apples aren’t what they ought to be?”) so those I support – clients, employers, colleagues, friends, family, and others - may traverse and / or discover - a path from the airport to the hotel; a visa for travel to Iran; printed materials delivered on time and to the correct location; a timely accounting and cataloged record of votes for a motion or an election, donations to a cause, expenses for a program, money in the pockets of staff for hard work well done; full attendance at an event well promoted; lunch in a backpack and playdate scheduled!
These feats are just a few befitting a wizard, but more likely are led and accomplished by us mere mortals! Here we stand, behind the curtain, moving levers, pressing buttons, great and powerful, building the road to discovery and success brick by golden brick!
Please share your own experiences/accomplishments/ instances of Leading through Assistance with us at [email protected]