In my professional live I have always hoped for a leader that was able to inspire me; someone that could make me fly; a person that I could trust: a father figure! Perhaps hopelessly romantic and naive.
About three years ago I was working in a Dutch greenhouse company in the Westland area. A tough and conservative sector. I was hired by a change manager with the intention to turn the company around. All very exciting perspectives and a role I was born to play. Pretty soon it turned out that I was actually battling with him for deals. Like me, he was new in the business and needed a deal to confirm his position to the rest of the management team. Where I was hoping for a leader, my manager turned out to be an old fashioned boss with short term and selfish goals.
A true leader creates the conditions for his/her team so that each individual teammember can grow into the best version of him/herself. His one and only concern is the success of others. Just like a parent; they set the conditions for the family so that each of their kids can grow up into independent and self-respected adults; the best possible versions of themselves.
Everyone can be a parent, so there is a leader in all of us.