LEADERSHIP: What it is … what it is NOT! Part ONE – The Intro – ONE.1 ~ The WHY

Blue4LEADERSHIP:  What it is … what it is NOT!


PART ONE – The Intro –

1. Why / 2. What / 3. So What / 4. Now What



Jilinda Lee – Change Champion Coach, Leadership Mentor and Human Behaviour Expert …. shares her knowledge, experiences, observations and learnings about what makes a great leader … with the genuine intent and purpose that others may also learn, become more aware, and be inspired to drive changes that LIFTS the levels of leadership in our communities.


WARNING:  In addition to some theory and facts; expect straight talk, challenges, and real life examples peppered with quirky humour and a good splash of WTF attitude … starting with these favourite quotes from my personal collection …

People should seriously stop expecting ‘normal’ or ‘toned down conformity’ from me … we all know it’s never going to happen”


“CONFORMITY is doing what everyone else is doing, regardless of what is right … MORALITY is doing what is right, regardless of what everyone else is doing”


“Whenever one person stands up and says ‘Wait a minute, this is wrong’… it helps others to do the same”



Firstly, I’m passionate about leadership development.  In my coaching and mentoring work with organisations and individuals, I assist people to build their leadership strengths so that they can lead and influence change. This passion has grown from a life-long thirst for observing and understanding behaviour, and the motivations behind people’s behaviour choices; … and importantly, the influence or impact that has on others. I’ve always needed to make sense of stuff that happens in the world around me; … to seek first to understand, and then decide the story or learning I personally take from that. I can assure you, there have been a lot of learnings!

Now, having firmly arrived at the middle age stage in life, it is an absolute privilege to be able to use my knowledge gained from formal studies and courses, my broad life experiences including management roles in both private and public sector, and all those years of observations and interactions; … to help others become more aware and encourage them to learn and grow; … to step up and make a real difference in our communities.

The world needs strong, visionary, genuine leaders; … men and women with skills, passion and drive; … who demonstrate leadership behaviours that come from the right intent and purpose, that is focused on enabling the growth of strong sustainable communities.

There is no candy-coated way to say this:  The level of senior leadership in many of our workplaces, our organisations, our local regional communities, state-wide, and nationally; … is woeful [and appallingly ineffective]. We are surrounded by mediocrity, very average, often risk adverse examples of what I call ‘positional leaders’ … leaders in title only, without vision, without purpose, without demonstrating any REAL leadership behaviours.

You see … I’ve always held the view that LEADERSHIP is a verb, and not a noun; … it is a demonstrated behaviour; … the observable attitude and actions.  It has nothing to do with position; … not about touting an “I’m the one in charge” mantra.  Leadership is in the DOING … because everything you say or do is some kind of action being observed by others … and that is what connects a leader to those they lead [or not …].

Huffing and puffing, looking important, looking busy, back-to-back meetings, constantly on the phone; … just doesn’t do it for me, when there is no action, or no new direction and outcomes.  Those who produce ‘same old’ year-in year-out, are not leaders … they are loungers. Those who talk up their successes on the backs of others ideas, claiming them as their own, are not leaders … they are lazy, incompetent liars.   Oooooooh …. Yes, I know some of these … and I’ll bet you do too.

People must believe in the leader [and what he/she stands for] before they buy into the vision.

Think about the so called leaders around you …  

  • Do they portray a ‘their way or the highway’ attitude?

[That’s not leadership, that’s dictatorship]

  • Are they all talk, minimal action … with selective interest only towards the popularity vote?

[That’s not leadership, that’s posturing or performing]

  • Do they reject those with new, innovative ideas and instead, choose to surround themselves with the ‘nodders’, the reliable, risk adverse ‘yes men’?

[That’s not leadership, that’s positional protectionism]

  • Do they go missing in action when the going gets tough … and choose to stay under the radar until it’s safe to emerge from under the desk?

[That’s not leadership, that’s cowardly self-centred protectionism]

  • Do they build useful relationships, and then discard them when no longer of use?

 [That’s not leadership, that’s disingenuous and deceitful]

 Sadly … I have seen way too much of these scenarios in my regional community; … and it’s what stops connection, collaboration and progress; … because it erodes trust. From my observations and real experiences; … bullying, positional power threats and ‘divide and conquer’ tactics are still widely accepted behaviours from many of our community leaders; … and what irks me most is it is seemingly rewarded by continuing to be supported [voted in] and resourced [funded].

Now, as a life / leadership coach, I’m fully aware that these types of behaviours are learned habits of individuals often stemming from the ‘fear of not being enough’; … chosen behaviours that make small thinking people feel bigger, more powerful. This is not genuine leadership because it means decisions are often made for personal reasons, not focused on what’s good for the organisation or community; … not good for the greater good … just good for personal gain. I could write and share so many examples of this … [hint: yes, there is a book in progress].

So … my WHY for writing this series of articles is:

  • It’s time to stop accepting the status quo, the same old leadership models we’ve had for years. 

  • It’s time to support REAL leaders with the right attitude and actions; … leadership behaviour that comes from genuine values and motivations. Not ME focused … WE focused.

So let’s kick off this series of blogs / articles with WHAT real leadership is …

“Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others”

John Maxwell.

 To read more online, click on  Part ONE.2 – THE WHAT  


To download and print out the full article – PART ONE – The Intro – 1. Why / 2. What / 3. So What / 4. Now What - in printable PDF format, click here:  - LEADERSHIP – What is IS … What it is NOT … series


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