Leadership According to Camelot
Having served in the military (U.S. Army) for four and a half years gave me a lot of insight into different leadership styles. When most people hear any connection between leadership and the military, they think structured, top down, or even controlling. I did not take that away from my experience at all. My leaders were just that, LEADERS. They taught me many lessons on how to LEAD BY EXAMPLE and MODEL the behavior that they wanted from us.
They did 3 things that I try and instill in my team/employees:
- Ownership – It’s important to instill ownership in anything that you or a member of your team does. Much like the knights at the round table, Arthur gave them the tools they needed to be successful, the public and open support to those around him, and the ability to allow them to make mistakes that they could learn from.
- Drive – It is one thing to tell a person to go into battle or do a job/task that he or she can do easily, it’s another to give them a challenge that they must take head on. Time after time, the knights went into the unknown with the expectation to come out alive or winning. We have to move past what we are comfortable with and embrace that not everything is going to be “easy.”
- Teamwork – The most important concept of how Arthur set up the Knights of the Roundtable. Why a roundtable? It shows the importance that each person has within the group. Yes, there is a head chair, but they are connected by the King to unite everyone. This is the definition of leadership for me.
When I tried to come up with an organizational chart, I knew I didn’t want a pyramid or some fancy Venn diagram. I wanted something that was rooted in history and capitalized on what I learned in the military. That was knowing the person’s job above and below you. A business has to keep moving forward despite who does what. If you completely compartmentalize, you are creating a culture of assembly line workers, not a team.
On a daily basis, I see my team step up for each other (and more often for me) and that puts a smile on my face and a warm fuzzy in my heart. As a leader, I want my team to be better than me, so I NEVER become complacent, but continue to work hard for them and make them proud of me as much as I am of them.
Ask every person if he’s heard the story;
And tell it strong and clear if he has not:
That once there was a fleeting wisp of glory
– Camelot! Camelot
Tom Harness | @iTomHarness | #TurnTheLightBulbOn | 314-884-1192