Tuesday, October 10, 2017

More Questions Than Answers

(Photo: Geralt/Pixabay)
I recently asked our Facebook followers to weigh in on the following question:

"Leadership is more art than science."
[Do you agree/disagree? What does this mean?]
The statement holds the answer within—more art than science. I agree with the statement, so why did I ask if our "followers" if they agree or disagree? I asked because as a so-called leadership expert, I have become adept at challenging the status quo—to ask why? 

When one is bold enough to ask "why," one must be prepared for opening a Pandora's box of sorts. Within that box are not answers, but more questions.  
(Photo: Geralt/Pixabay)
Does one look at the box as a gift or a curse? The answer lies in the person's mindset. Do they have a fixed mindset that may lead to frustration? Do they have a growth mindset that embraces unlimited possibilities?

I find myself embracing the growth mindset and potential for honing my art, recognizing and respecting the science behind the art. However, I find myself at a crossroads about my personal definition of leadership and the tender balance of moderating social media in an impartial leadership forum. Am I liking a comment or loving a comment because it resonates with my ideals? Should I not engage "followers" (see my frustration with the term itself, maybe they are collaborators) at all? Am I abiding by the tenants of the Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program?

I don't have answers to my questions and will continue with duty, respect, and integrity to inspire others to share their perspectives. I challenge each of you to ask the question—to be willing to not find an answer, but more questions to ponder. I challenge you to listen to differing perspectives—to engage in dialogue and health debate and conflict.
"The question mark is an inverted plow, breaking up the hard soil of old belief and preparing for the new growth." - Saul Alinsky
Leadership is a process, an art, that brings leaders and collaborators or followers (whatever your preferred term) together in an influential relationship for a common purpose.

Wildland Fire Leadership Challenge: Digging a Little Deeper
  • Read and reflect upon Simon Sinek's book Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.

About the Author: Pam McDonald is a writer/editor for BLM Wildland Fire Training and Workforce Development and member of the NWCG Leadership Subcommittee. The expressions are those of the author.

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