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Leadership In Verse

(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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