Leadership is Reading Between the Lines


 I know leaders who are very good at lines.

Lines are important to how they see themselves, other people, and the world around them. They know where to draw the lines. The always color inside the lines. They never step out of line. They may enjoy being at the front of the line.

Lines can be helpful. There have been times when I was good at lines myself. It is important to see the lines. When we do not pay attention to the lines, we cannot know whether we are crossing them.

Each of us has frameworks that hold our lives together for us. Some of those structures are physical like the places where we live or work, the streets or roads on which we walk or drive. Many are conceptual or philosophical. They are all personal. We each have our own sets that form the broad outline of how we see ourselves.

Some of us are intentional about putting together our outlines, others of us accept what someone else gives us. They give us a lot of support. We take it personally when anyone pushes against part of our frameworks.

It can be a challenge for us to remember that the lines themselves are not really important.

Our outlines give structure and support for what they describe. They help us recognize and appreciate what is within them.

Our outlines are the ways we understand our core values. They are important only as they reflect those values. Our values show us where our lines need to be.

Leadership is when what is between our lines connects with what is between the lines of the people around us.

Leadership is reading between the lines.

Where do you see your own lines?

How well does your leadership read between your own lines, and other people’s?

[Image by parkeyparker]

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