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The Contract: A Word From the Led

We often think of leadership from the perspective of the person in charge. What about those who follow? What does it mean to be led by a particular person? I find, at times, that I get in a hurry to lead and forget to listen which is such an important part of leadership.

William Ayot provided this insightful poem which offers advice for the leader through the eyes of the follower. Leadership is about serving and mindfulness which intersect with integrity.

And in the end we follow them –

not because we are paid,

not because we might see some advantage,

not because of the things they have accomplished,

not even because of the dreams they dream

but simply because of who they are:

the man, the woman, the leader, the boss,

standing up there when the wave hits the rock,

passing out faith and confidence like life jackets,

knowing the currents, holding the doubts,

imagining the delights and terrors of every landfall;

captain, pirate, and parent by turns,

the bearer of our countless hopes and expectations,

We give them our trust. We give them our effort.

What we ask in return is that they stay true.

About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

15 responses »

  1. I loved this, sent onto my son who is trying to become a Professional Life/Growth Coach. Thanks so much!

  2. Beautiful but sad when I think of the awful leaders we have voted for…like sheep

  3. The best follower leads himself.

  4. super imageries of the stalwart. Withstanding the wave…handing out lifejackets…The burden of a role mode is “staying true”…but intrinsic. I am “one who admires” (it’s in my character) and I try to be admirable, too.

    You find the greatest poems!

  5. oops, can you add an “L”…

  6. Authenticity is important in a leader.


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