Leadership In Verse

October 1, 2015

(Perhaps, for some, the inverse of leadership)



I had such fun the other day
Expressing what I have to say
To our young leaders, starting out
Just learning what their job’s about


Assembled in a meeting hall
With many more by conference call
Their ears were perked, their eyes so bright 
And so it was with great delight


I started in a whisper first
(My thoughts not carefully rehearsed)


Consider these steps one, two, three
By which to lead your company…


For if you do, you’ll grow and grow
Investors will adore you so
Your bottom line will be the tops
As workers pull out all the stops


Got bad morale? Now don’t despair it
These three steps will fast repair it
Or flagging sales? Just listen here
Steps one two three will make them dear


Three simple steps, that’s all it takes
Just follow them for goodness sakes
They’re what a leader has to do
Your company depends on you


But if you don’t, then be forewarned
You’ll suffer woes, be roundly scorned
Employees will detest their bosses
Investors will lament their losses


And customers will run away
Competitors will have their day
Your efforts will have been in vain
Your brand will go right down the drain


But just in case you’re not prepared
Initially, you might feel scared
Don’t fret, it’s normal to react
These steps are new. They might seem whacked


Don’t let their novelty off-put you
Trust the process and they’ll suit you 
With that preamble, finally
It’s time for steps: one, two and three


Step one is simple, but never easy
It’s ‘Trust your people’, does that sound cheesy?
Let them fall and never blame them
Get curious, but never flame them


Trust creates conditions where
Your people’s brilliance comes to bear
On every opportunity
So trust your people, watch and see


Step two is harder, but worth the ends
It’s ‘Treat your folks as valued friends’
Pay attention, be of service
Lend a hand when they are nervous


We all can tell when others care
And when they don’t, then we won’t dare
To take the risk to be ourselves
We leave our best upon the shelves


Step three, it is the hardest one
So listen up, and we’ll be done
It’s ‘Speak your truth with humility,
Stay open to what others see’


For emperors without their clothes
Need people near and on their toes
Those friends they trust to catch their fall
The kind whose eyes stay on the ball

And so it is, step three won’t fly
Without steps one and two nearby
But all together, steps one two three
Will generate results you’ll see


So heed this call, you won’t regret it
Reread this verse and don’t forget it
Fasten your seat belt, enjoy the ride
And take your new success in stride


And by the way, these steps are true
For everyone, including you
So trust yourself, be your best friend,
Speak truth inside and do attend


For you’ll be lost if you don’t start
With what’s inside, your mind, your heart
Good luck, dear leaders, staying true
To these three steps, my gift to you”




Mark Voorsanger is a consultant, speaker and executive coach who has been leading and managing teams for more than 25 years. He is a member of the training team for the Collaborative Operating System, a powerful framework for teams and organizations that need to collaborate effectively.

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