Why I Lead

Posted on: Fri, 06/02/2017 - 02:00 By: dusty

I do not have any direct reports, however I lead every day. I lead a family of 5 through life. I lead my girls in dance, setting the example by taking tap and performing onstage. I lead my adult son as he navigates the early years of living on his own. I lead my gym buddies on leg day. I lead an army of information system security managers and security professionals through procedural compliance and risk-based security.

Why do I continue to lead? Why do I continue to pursue leadership at a higher level? In my previous life as a contractor, I became acquainted with the principles of Continuous Process Improvement, his big brother Business Process Reengineering: focusing on not just flowcharts, but IDEF modelling, automating internal business processes to develop Enterprise Architectures eventually growing up to be Business Intelligence. While I only got to skirt the periphery of the science, I became a big fan and proponent of change and improvement.

I was placed on a temporary (or so I thought) working group some time ago to analyze post-assessment documentation. Not only did we re-vamp the policy, we automated a great deal of it, embodying everything that is process improvement and reengineering. I was the automation lead, having previous programming experience. I was also part of a high-performing team where my input was valued and appreciated. Given how much I value improvement, I was very satisfied. The experience was very rewarding and I would seek to repeat it.

Warren Bennis described an America currently lacking leadership; I see a multitude of toxic leaders and an environment crying for change and improvement. I think we can do better; I think I can do better. My capacity as a leader might be best utilized at this level, but if and when the call comes for leadership at another level I want to make sure I am prepared.