Yet, when we begin to look at the role of a leader, we note a need for a heightened level of compassion and awareness of nonverbal and verbal cues and cultural competencies. An effective leader must also be aware of learning styles and have a dexterity that will allow for discipline, steadfastness, precision, accuracy, and focus in order to fulfill the company's mission and vision, which is ultimately to serve and to do that well. A transformational leader is the epitome of servant leadership. Individuals working for organizations or looking to apply to companies are seeking more than benefits and a salary. They want to be seen and heard. They want to know that what they contribute will reflect themselves and those they represent. Further, this cannot be accomplished without taking the time to realize that leaders are positioned to serve in a capacity that lends to revealing hidden facets of those whom they work alongside. Here at Cage Free Voices, we identify the ability to sit in the tension of being spiritually, emotionally, and physically adept in business as Cage Free Leadership.
Many leaders separate their spirituality and personal lives from business, but we welcome it. We believe leadership requires that whole person. My sister once told me, "Bathsheba, you are a builder of people." This statement resonates well with what we do and has helped shape our view of leadership further.
A Cage Free Leader builds people, and consequently, those people make an organism (which is what an organization is) designed to continue helping others evolve. Cage Free Leaders are personable and relational but also tenacious, skillful, and willing to test boundaries. Without the humanness of those you serve (your employees, parents, independent contractors, etc.), there is no room for holistic growth, just a repeated pattern of behavior or precision along one specified skill path. What then of one's family life or the other components of self? The undiscovered gifts and talents? A caterpillar does not simply transform one part of its composition but fully transforms.
An effective leader encourages this transformation by transforming him or herself, remaining transparent, having critical conversations, noting the gifts in others, and encouraging them to lead as well. Leadership is not self-serving; it is the opposite and should always free people to be the best versions of themselves.