leadership by inspiration or by intimidation

brand-as-business bit:  Do you inspire people or do you intimidate them?  The other day a friend and I were talking about a mutual colleague, whom I’ll call Larry.  My friend remarked:

I never feel as stupid as when I’m talking to Larry.

It was a telling remark.  Larry is brilliant — but my friend was right.  Whether he’s giving a presentation or in a one-on-one conversation, he always comes off as the smartest person in the room — which, I suppose, is OK, if that’s his goal.  But I’d rather be known as the most helpful person  — or the one who helps advance the collective thinking — or the most inspiring.  My friend’s comment reminded me that having all the answers isn’t always a good thing — it can be intimidating — and that leading should be as much (if not more) about serving others as it is about being right.

What do you think?

more bits of leadership inspiration: