You’re a Leader (But where are you leading your followers?)

“Show ’em you’re a Kubicki!” ~Jerry Kubicki

Anytime my brothers and I left the house, performed in a play, sang with the choir or played sports, my father would always say “Show ’em you’re a Kubicki!” He always expected the very best from us. He let us know that we represented not only ourselves but our family and that we needed to be an example to those around us. Great leaders can be born and they can be made. One important aspect of every great leader I know is that they are constantly seeking to improve themselves in order to serve others more effectively. Recently a long-time friend and colleague, Doug Hauth, provided an assessment of my leadership abilities.

The results were revealing and extremely helpful. As I continue to grow the company, serve clients and be a leader for my own family and community, I need this type of on-going guidance and insight to keep improving. While my last name has changed, the motto is still as relevant as ever and I hear my father’s words every time I start a new project, speak with a client or begin a presentation on stage – Show ’em you’re an Armbruster!

Special thanks to Doug for providing the following inspiring thoughts on leadership and making a true impact on those you lead! Enjoy!

Me and my father, Jerry Kubicki

You’re a Leader
(But where are you leading your followers?)

There is no denying it. Everyone is a leader whether they know it or not. Everyone understands that the CEO or President is the leader of the organization and that good leadership is critical to the success of any team. But that kind of position title is bestowed by the organization and says nothing about the leadership abilities of the person in that position. We tend to forget that leadership is not a position but rather a quality and that we’re all leading, all the time. If we’re not in a leadership position, we’re peers, parents, teachers, coaches, friends, and yes, even a stranger to someone who is watching how we’re interacting with the clerk at the register. Even if we never leave the house and interact with anyone, we’re still leading our own lives. We’re all leaders, but the question really is – what kind of leaders are you? Do you inspire others to be more than they ever thought they could be? Do people seek you out to be a part of what we’re doing? Do others share honestly their successes and failures with you as a learning experience without fear? Do others feel good in your presence? Are you changing people’s lives for the better? Are people happy when they’re in your presence? Are you happy in their presence? Do others trust you? If you’re a positional leader in your organization, is your organization aligned with your vision? Are you achieving your goals? If your answer to each of these questions wasn’t an emphatic “YES!” then perhaps you’re leading yourself and your followers down the wrong path.

John Quincy Adams, our sixth president, once said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”. So very true! I would add that President Adams was describing what we now call transformational leadership. Transformational leadership is not what is taught in business school, in the military or in any school I know of for that matter. James MacGregor Burns first used the phrase “transformational leader” in contrast to a “transactional leader”. A transactional leader uses reward and punishment to motivate – if you do this, I’ll reward you by giving you this bonus, promotion, etc. A transformational leader motivates by example, by their personality and by allowing their natural gifts to emerge which inspires others to “dream more, learn more, do more and become more” as so eloquently spoken by Adams. Unfortunately, our world is dominated by transactional leaders, but you don’t have to follow their lead!

Just imagine how becoming a transformational leader might impact your event, your volunteers, your donors, your employees and yes, even your bosses! The June 19, 2012 issue of this newsletter highlighted some “lessons” from clients:

Lesson: A major roadblock to local event management success is allowing yourself to get focused on the production details and not focusing on the relationships. Whether it’s recruitment of new participants, stewardship of sponsors or working with volunteers, by creating a day-by-day action plan for relationship development, a group can see tremendous results.

Lesson: Be sure your event’s success does not rely on one single individual. By diversifying the management of the event production, the relationship management, and the volunteer support, you can ensure that the event will continue to be strong when turnover occurs with staff and/or volunteers.

Lesson: Be sure you and your board of directors have a clear vision for your programs.

Can you see that these could all be considered leadership issues? Whether it is the need to build relationships so you don’t have to do it all yourself, or defining and communicating your vision, you have people waiting to follow your lead. Will you choose transactional or transformational leadership? I hope the answer is transformational, because those are the leaders we all want to follow.

The good news is that there is a transformational leader inside of you just waiting to be. You can facilitate greatness that will achieve your vision. You can be the inspiration that makes the difference. It may take practice, and sometimes the help of a coach who can help you become aware of blind spots and other blocks preventing your leadership from emerging, but it is worth the effort. Imagine what you and your followers will achieve!

About Doug Hauth

Doug Hauth is an experienced corporate and non-profit leader, fundraising expert, leadership coach, and former sales executive. He is the founder of INPowered Coaching Group and is a Certified Professional Coach and Energy Leadership Index – Master Practitioner.

In the News

Mark your calendars for upcoming speaking engagements:

BrandCauses Podcast with Rachel Armbruster. Join me on September 12, 2:00-2:30p.m. when Brian L. Martin, BrandCauses host; and I discuss cause marketing topics such as “How Your Charity Partnerships reflect on Your Brand.” To listen to the podcast, visit

Texas Nonprofit Summit Conference in Austin, Texas. I will be speaking about “Harnessing the Power of Corporate/NPO Relationships to Raise Revenue and Awareness” on September 20. To register today, visit

PPAI Professional Development Webinar. On September 26, join me while we discuss, “Cause Marketing: How to integrate Cause Marketing for your Business and Your Clients. To register for the webinar today, visit