I was very disappointed to discover that it was just another very expensive business-consulting gimmick to get employees focusing on the business numbers. The theory was that if everyone becomes responsible for the numbers, then everyone would become leaders. At least that was my take on it.
Of course, anyone can become a leader when the situation warrants it, but another seminar shifting responsibilities will not accomplish this.
I’ve seen this happen too many times. In trying to build the bottom line, the focus shifts from creating leaders to creating culpability in the lower levels. The seminars forget that in order to be a leader, there must be followers who not only understand the vision but also have the skills and more importantly the desire to do so.
What exactly is Leadership?
The verb Lead has been around since at least the 1300s according to Online Etymology Dictionary. It originally meant “cause to go with oneself; march at the head of, go before as a guide, accompany and show the way”. And that meaning still is in use today. So you can understand my confusion with the seminars.
My musings brought my thoughts to the Leadership styles reflected in the Tarot by the four Kings. The Emperor is the embodiment of all the traits exhibited by the Kings. He is able to discern which skill to employ and the appropriate way to use it in his position as the leader of nations. Conversely, he is equally capable of all the improper behaviors as well. Not all emperors or kings are good leaders.
What are these skills and how do they relate to leadership?
The King of Cups is the Visionary. He is able to see the big picture and has the skills to convince others to buy into that vision. He may have grandiose plans that can take lot of time and resources to become reality, however, the details of how to get there may be missing a few key components as this king can lack focus. His followers may slowly drop off as they become disillusioned when reality set in.
The King of Wands is Action-Oriented and is skilled in motivating others into action. His action plans are exciting, creating a sense of adventure in those who follow him. His sense of urgency can be stressful when his plans take longer to manifest than he anticipated. At this point, the king may abandon the process in search of a newer, more exciting undertaking while his followers go back to doing what has always worked.
The King of Pentacles is able to explain the practical aspects of his plan and its benefit to the whole. He allows others to use their own judgment, empowering them with the authority to make decisions as well as the inevitable mistakes. At this point, he will gladly step in to help, but can go overboard as he micromanages his poor followers into inaction.
And finally, we have the King of Swords. I leave him for last because his skill is the hardest to define. He is a great communicator, cutting through the bull that the King of Cups spreads. He is as brave as the King of Wands and as practical as the King of Pentacles. Yet these are simply tools to him. His skill is tenacity. He will keep going until the mission is accomplished, devising new methods and techniques on the fly in order to achieve his goals. With his focus on the battles, he may not see that the war is over and the soldiers have gone home.
Are you a follower or a leader? Guess what? It doesn’t matter!
We Are All Leaders And WeAre All Followers!
Real leaders aren’t always politicians, bosses or celebrities pushing their agendas. Real leaders are able to employ all the supportive qualities exhibited by the four Kings while controlling the undesirable behaviors that are detrimental to developing good relationships with others.
Be happy in who you are and don’t stress yourself because someone else is pushing you to be who you are not.
The skills listed are adapted from Tarot Life Book 5