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04/02/2020 08:36:27 PM


Jeff Geigel

A Note to our Children

I have been watching the events of the last month while trying to maintain a clear perspective. This is the most pivotal point in modern history. Our children will carry this time in their memories, and subconsciously, the behavior of our leaders in action (religious, community, business and political) will remain with them. In times of crisis, leadership gets exposed in significant ways.

The present crisis has given us a front row seat to closely observe leadership. If we could somehow filter out many of the other things going on, one takeaway lesson might be found in using current events as a teachable moment for our youth. Working in many organizations has taught me so much about \ responsibility. 

The most important thing that I have learned throughout my career thus far is that a person's character is what makes them an effective or ineffective leader and not their college degree. There is no such thing as good or bad leadership just effective or ineffective. The common thread between the two IS the person’s character. Period! Nothing else! 

There are two principal inflection points of leadership; Decision Making and Communication.

Decision Making is the most important inflection point. Leaders must be held accountable for their decisions. Effective leaders surround themselves with subject-matter experts to provide knowledge on the journey toward making decisions. Seeking knowledge and data creates the best opportunity for effective leadership. "Winging it" is not a trait of an effective leader, but is most dangerous. An effective leader may get it wrong, but at least they have generated the right kind of odds to promote conscientious decision making.

When an ineffective leader wings it and gets it right; that is called luck. When an ineffective leader keeps wing it over and over and over – even if they keep getting it right – they lose privilege to lead.

Communication is the second most important inflection point. Effective leaders find a balanced way to show humility in their communications. They bring clarity to a large audience while translating that the outcome of the decision was generated with consideration to data and knowledge. An ineffective and dangerous leader will believed and communicate that they know best. My most influential leadership coach taught me that, "If someone claims to be the smartest person in the room...leave the room!"

An effective leader will always remind people that they are aware that it is a privilege to lead, whether their position was earned or not. An effective leader admits when they are wrong and does not blame others. 

Their will likely be no other time quite like the one today when our children can learn the difference between effective and ineffective leadership. I hope the subject of leadership can be brought as a discussion point into your household. We can prepare our effective leaders of tomorrow. The world is going to need them!!!

By: Jeff Geigel

Wed, May 25 2022 24 Iyyar 5782