What if you looked out of your window and saw acres of unmown public land? Overgrown because the city had run out of funds and could no longer afford the upkeep of its public spaces? If you are Tom Nardone the answer is obvious. You jump on your lawnmower and start mowing the public parks yourself. Before you know it, an army of volunteers have joined you and you soon form the Detroit Mower Gang, with members volunteering their time to mow Detroit’s public parks so the kids have a safe place to play.
As Nardone believes: “Doing something is way more than doing nothing.”
In an era where leadership can sometimes seem like a hollow archetype – we’ve witnessed leadership failures across several significant public institutions – the beacon of hope is the rise of grassroots leaders like Nardone. Guerilla leaders.
Glen’s Espresso in Brisbane, Australia, is another example of this kind of leadership. Glen runs a coffee cart where conventionally you have a barista making the coffee and one person manning the till. Glen decided to base his coffee leadership on trust. As a customer, you write your coffee order on the takeaway cup, put money in the till and take out your own change. A simple instruction sheet tells you how to do this.
Neither Nardone nor Glen have a formal leadership title or mandate but each have chosen to make a difference through their actions. All it takes is getting in touch with your inner leadership guerilla.
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