Recently I had a chance to hear someone speak on the subject of “Getting from Here to There”. One of the things that stuck with me as I listened to him speak was the fact that everyone, no matter where we are in life, is in a stage of transition. We are all moving from here to there.

I continue to think about his topic long after I had left the venue (the signs of a successful sermon), and it led me to the topic of leadership.

It is my opinion that real leadership happens as we help those on our team move towards their “There”, and also help them in finding out where their “There is. This can be accomplished through vision and goal casting, however, in the end success as a leader should be determined by if our team members are closer to “there” than they were before they joined our team.

There are two problems that leaders face as they try to assist their team members on this journey. I wanted to point these out as a way to caution to you as a leader.

The first is when we as leaders make our “There” the “There for all of our team members. It first starts out as a cool idea or vision that we believe should be “the” vision for everyone. The next thing that happens is that we begin to treat our team members as though they are just tools being used to accomplish our great vision. This can be defined as dictatorship, not leadership.

The second problem that might arise is totally the opposite of dictatorship, it is when we as leaders become less focused on the “There” and more on the “Here”. It happens gradually but one day we find ourselves trying to manage the “Here”, instead of teaching the student to swim we end up just trying to keep their head above water. This is not necessarily a bad thing, after all we don’t want them to drown; however, there is a difference between a lifeguard and a swimming instructor. Their purpose is totally different.

This week’s experiment is to examine this area of your leadership skills. Are you helping your team members get from “Here to There”? Has “There” slowly become your personal “There”? Or, have you slowly become more of a lifeguard instead of a swimming instructor?