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Nov20
Quiet Leadership

 man%20reflecting.jpg

My father is a man of few words. When he speaks, we all listen and we all act accordingly. No questioning. No backtalk. No dragging around. When he says do it, it had better get done.

The only thing is now my dad can’t speak.

My father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease about three years ago. The disease which renders your nervous system ineffective even in carrying out the simplest of tasks has taken over my dad completely, causing him to be unable to even do the simple things. Since this debilitating diagnosis, he has become 100% dependent on others for his care. He is unable to feed himself and tend to his needs. And, he has become unable to speak. I miss his voice.

 

Being a man of few words caused us as children to listen to him the first time he spoke. We knew that we had better get it right the first time because if he had to say it again…well, we just knew we didn’t want him to have to repeat himself. His figure and presence in our home meant more to us than just a breadwinner. He taught us a tremendous amount of life lesson’s just in his demeanor and in his actions. I learned:
  • You don’t have to raise your voice to be a leader. People can hear you just fine the first time you say it.
  • Say what you mean, say what you want succinctly and directly when you do speak. People want and need brevity, not a long-drawn out dissertation.
  • Be direct and to the point and eliminate the fluff. This leaves less room for conjecture and confusion. 
  • Be of few words. Your words carry more weight when you are.

Dad’s quiet leadership is still here, still active. Although he and I cannot carry on a conversation now, being in his presence lets me know he hears me. Most of the time when I sit in his room next to his bed in silence, we’re communicating. When I look into his eyes and brush the hair off of his face, he’s speaking to me and I to him. And even though now he is unable to speak to me audibly, his quietness speaks everything to me. I think today I will tell him how his leadership has made a difference in my life, how I have accomplished so much more, how I have made decisions based on this and how I am attempting to raise my children the same way he raised me.

Or, maybe I’ll just keep quiet and let the silence speak for me.

"The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind in others the conviction and will to carry on." - Walter Lippman

 


4 Comments/Trackbacks




» Someone Else's Leader from LeaderNotes
Yesterday I talked about my dad and how his quiet leadership has made a difference in my life. Today, I want to talk about how I am thankful for that leadership. This time of the year at Thanksgiving, we think... [Read More]

This is as beautiful as it is insightful, Bridget.

It is a wonderful tribute not only to your father but to the relationship you have with him. Thanks for sharing your story.

» Leadership Basics & The Quiet Leadership Style from SmallBizMentor
At Leaders Notes, Bridget Wright shares a beautifully told and powerful story about her father and his quiet leadership style. What Is A Leader?Leaders are often associated with being "in charge". In charge does not mean agressive. It does no... [Read More]

This is an impressive story. I appreciate it so much. I think We can learn many things from it. About "Quiet Leadership", I also read a book titled "Quiet Leadership: Six Steps to Transforming Performance at Work" one month ago. When I was reading it, I found effective leadership can be accomplished in "quiet". I also find it a very powerful book after I experiment with the approach that the author introduces. I found it with a good price here: http://dealstudio.com/searchdeals.php?deal_id=70079 ,
If you are involved in managing the intellectual capital of your own, I think this book is a valuable tool.

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