At Work

You’re A Good Leader When You Inspire Movement

By: Valerie Ling

When you think of a leader, who comes to your mind? It’s not just the corporate or national leader.  I would include teachers and parents as examples in this list.

Leadership is a process. Anyone can fit this role. Anyone can develop in this role. Some of us will need help and ongoing coaching to remain in this role.

Leadership Does Not Equate With Dependency

I once wrote on an application that I was an unwilling leader. This relates to being an unwilling business owner. I struggled being a parent of very young children. And I do not enjoy the teaching aspects of clinical supervision.

I soon realised that I equated leadership with being responsible for the formation, growth and outcomes of other people. This pushes against my need for freedom and autonomy. Having people who follow you, I thought, meant having people who were highly dependent on you. That sounded like a lot of work.

A Good Leader Facilitates Movement

I have since come to see that this is not the case. A leader facilitates movement. Look at the picture above: who is the potter, who is the clay? If you answered that leaders are the potter and followers are the clay…. well, that’s where I have made a fundamental shift in my thinking. The potter AND the clay belong to the follower. At best we are the wheel.

What keeps us as leaders, is when we facilitate the wheel’s movement, through encouraging growth, inspiration, motivation, and direction. We’re leaders when we see the finished product before our follower sees it.  A leader sees all the “pot” can be, and envisions the place that the pot will be placed.  A leader inspires service and growth in others and encourages movement towards that picture.

Article supplied with thanks to Valerie Ling.

About the Author: Valerie Ling is a clinical psychologist and consultant with The Centre for Effective Living (a psychology and mental health practice) and The Centre for Effective Serving (a workplace wellbeing consultancy).

Feature image: Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash 

Other Articles You May Like


Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World – Book Review

By: John AndersonTom Holland’s latest book Dominion: The Making of the...

March 28, 2023
At Work

Three Differences Between Gen Y and Gen Z Employees

By: Ashley Fell  When it comes to keeping up with...

March 28, 2023
Entertainment and Arts

Glass Onions: A Knives Out Mystery

By: Reel Dialogue Knives Out and Daniel Craig as master...

March 27, 2023

Self Care Helps Us Stay the Course

By: Valerie LingI’ve spoken at two great events recently. The...

March 27, 2023