We need leadership. It seems that every DBA or developer I talk to comments or complains about the lack of leadership in their company. It seems that despite the tremendous number of people acting as managers, team leads, and some other position of authority, we have few leaders.
Why is that? I've struggled with defining what a leader is, and what skills they have. However it seems that many military organizations all around the world are more successful at building leaders out of young people. Or is it that young people that make good leaders join the military?
I ran across this article about leadership practices that produce results and found some good ideas in it. Engage with employees, create a vision, and communicate. Empower people as well as recognize and praise them. All of these are pretty simple to do, but so are getting regular exercise or eating better. It's the actual implementation, the daily grind of following through on these practices that doesn't seem to work well in many companies.
For most of us, we're not managers. We don't want to run a company, or even move up the corporate ladder. However we do want to get work done, and we want to do the best job we can. In some sense, that's what a leader is.
You can lead among your peers, providing a great example for them, and possibly even for your boss. Even if you don't want to become a manager of anyone else, you can practice good leadership techniques and possibly even influence your boss to do the same.
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