How many times do we come across those who are in leadership positions, and we ask the question, “Did they forget where they came from?”


Well, many do, and it is unfortunate. Many leaders not only forget where they came from, but they also forget what it is like to follow.

With all of that said, how do we make sure we do not have leadership amnesia?

Leadership should be seen on both a horizontal and vertical plane. The horizontal plane represents the relationships with others, and the vertical plane represents where you are in your leadership life.

Key thoughts horizontally…

  • Horizontally is where we have the capability of wrapping our arms around others and including them.
  • When we keep our arms to our sides and hands in our pockets, others see you only vertically, not open to others.
  • Being able and wanting to include allows others to see that our leadership is more than about them.

Key thoughts vertically…

  • Wanting to move higher and being ambitious is not bad.
  • Always being vertical makes it about you. The higher you climb, the safer you feel?
  • Staying vertical for the wrong reasons allows others to believe you look down on them.
  • If we are always looking up, we forget to see where we came from. We should only look down to remember.

If we forget where we came from, or forget why we lead, I believe we will ultimately be forgotten ourselves. Each person you lead makes it possible for you to be in that leadership position. Think about your own leadership for a moment. How much time do you spend on each plane? The best way to fight amnesia is by remembering.

Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others

©2019 J Clay Norton

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