Leadership is something that stands out very clearly. I saw Garry McCarthy, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, model leadership during last week’s NATO summit in Chicago. Before the summit, he had assured the people of Chicago that his officers were ready to keep the peace. The first day of the summit, he was right on the front lines with his officers. He stayed vigilant and was ready to deploy additional manpower where needed. When things got a little “heated”, he was there to encourage and help his men. When all was said and done, there were only 90+ arrests made during the summit. He delivered what he had promised.
A leader does several different things:
He does deliver on what was promised. Follow-through is a vital trait for any leader. I want to keep promises that I make.
He has a plan and executes the plan. I know that many different people helped Supt. McCarthy with the security plan for the summit. He was the “voice of the plan” expressing confidence in the plan to the city leaders and the media.
A leader stays in touch with the people implementing the plan. In McCarthy, I saw a leader who was not content to oversee from 3 miles behind the front lines. He was right in the middle of things, leading from the front lines. I know his presence made a difference to his officers.
A leader is one who encourages and gives the credit to others. I saw this very clearly as McCarthy pointed to the men and women who made the peace happen. His words of affirmation and appreciation are positively touching many of his officers.
It’s good to see leadership lived out. I think it’s important to recognize and learn from examples of leadership taking place around us. Let’s be leaders that make a positive difference in the lives of others.