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What Does It Mean to Be a Leader?

Posted by Sarah Mote on Mar 06, 2012

Meet Nancy Zurbuchen, president of Motional Multimedia and co-founder of the Kansas City chapter of the Council of Women Business Owners.

Below, Nancy talks about the philosophy behind the public policy work of the Kansas City Council of Women Business Owners and how women business owners are uniquely positioned to be passionate public policy advocates.

Ever wondered at the thought put forth now and then that everyone can and should be a leader?

The obvious antithesis to that is if everyone is a leader, who is going to follow?  The short answer is that you can be a leader in your own corner of the world because you interact with people daily. 

People are connected today like never before. Technology has caused communication tools to proliferate. As they connect, the natural tendency is to group around a common interest or belief, like education, work, goals, hobbies, a product – well, you get the picture. Each grouping can be thought of as a tribe, and an individual can be a part of many tribes at once.

So how do you create a tribe? And how do you lead it?

Ordinary people that you know are stuck in fear, stuck in roles, and following rules and antiquated laws created in and for a completely different time in history. There are people out there just waiting for a leader to connect them – and that leader is you.

And note that leadership is not management.

Managers manage resources. Leadership creates change, taking the next step, building on YOUR passion about something. Which is why people are willing to follow.

The leader of the tribe provides enthusiasm, skill or knowledge or curiosity. The followers provide the momentum, because they identify with the tribe. They’re true fans. Too many organizations care about only numbers. So the real win for a leader is in turning a tribe member into a true fan – one who steps up, actively supports, and talks about it to others.

And that passion, that enthusiasm is contagious—and it can change the climate and momentum of a business.

Suggested reading:  Tribes, by Seth Godin

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