"It's what you learn after you know it all that really matters."
John Wooden

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Leadership Notes -- Thoughts on Leading People and Making a Difference in Organizations

Word count this issue: 421

Estimated reading time:  3:30 minutes

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0Zpvxoz_hI 


Good afternoon, from a rainy south coast of BC.  I hope all is well in your part of the world.


About 10 years ago, in an early edition of Leadership Notes I wrote about President Obama’s inauguration, urging readers to watch his inspirational inauguration speech and see how his leadership would unfold.http://www.alisdairsmith.com/index.php/leadership-notes/103-inauguration  I always admired President Obama’s oration, and think that we can learn a lot from his communication style, and his focus on hope.


This week saw an inspirational speech too, this time from Oprah Winfrey.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fN5HV79_8B8 Ms. Winfrey’s words of hope were fresh water to thirsty ears, and again, I urge leaders to watch her speech, paying attention to the phrasing and the rhythm. 


But, there is a shadow side to such speeches, more often than not. The audience, particularly when moved, starts to see the speaker as a hero; someone who has the answers, who will save us from whatever villain might be out there. The rush to assume that Ms. Winfrey would run for  President is an indicator of how quickly so many people projected a hero role on her. And quite frankly, the same ‘hero’ role was projected on and assumed by Mr. Trump. 


Real change in a country, or even on your team is not provided by leaders as individual heroes. We do not actually need to ‘hold out for a hero’, to quote Bonnie Tyler’s old song.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWcASV2sey0 Real change comes from within each and every person on the team, each and every one of us. The word ‘inspiration’ is about bringing a hopeful spirit inside of each person listening or watching, to engage us into action for ourselves. At our best, if anything teams, organizations and countries are not looking for people coming to ‘save’ them, rather, we are looking for ways to grow our selves, to change and develop ourselves into the people deep down, we know we can be. 



Watch and learn from great communicators like Mr. Obama and Ms. Winfrey, and work with the individuals on your teams, to grow and change from within. To make a difference ourselves in the places w have responsibility. And that will change the world for the better.