Is good leadership the result of good people skills or experience? Which trait of a good leader is most important? The obvious answer is both, they are equally important.
If I were to choose a coach for my children’s team I would ideally chooses someone who was relationaly healthy, could cast vision, build trust, establish loyalty with a high commitment level, and understand the generation they lead. I would choose someone who was humble, had a heart of service, and was full of love.
At the same time I would look for someone who had a lot of first hand experience. They would have had years playing the game, or many years of coaching and mentoring. Their experience would have led to a good working knowledge of the fundamentals, the rules and the tactical options of the game. I think we would all agree that we would love to play for a coach like this.
Or, switch to the workplace. Maybe this is our employer. We would love to have a boss like this, wouldn’t we?
The unfortunate reality is that there are more leadership positions out there than there are people, gifted in both of these arenas, to fill them. I would actually contend that this person is extremely rare, if they exist at all. So what is the answer?
How to Have It All
I believe it is the team builder. The team builder is someone who has enough people skills and enough technical knowledge to be “dangerously proficient” but is humble enough to surround herself/himself with others who can make up for each other’s deficiencies. Creating and organizing like this can be difficult and messy, but once it has been accomplished it can be a much stronger form of leadership than the single talented, dynamic leader.
A leadership team where there is trust, accountability and diversity has the potential to be a strong form of leadership simply because there is more ability to withstand the troubled times. A well crafted and balanced team can lose it’s best player and still remain competitive. A team that depends wholly on the gifts and talents of one player crumbles when that player goes down.
Play Your Part
Are you a team builder? Or more likely, and maybe even more importantly, are you a part of a team someone else is building? Both positions require good choices on the part of the individual. Learn and grow daily so you can bring your best to the team in whatever capacity you may serve. Being part of a leadership team is belonging to something bigger than yourself. It’s an important part of bringing purpose and meaning to life through your everyday work.