My family recently had breakfast at Cracker Barrel and I couldn’t help but notice that the front entrance of the restaurant is setup in an old country style front porch. This made me think about all of the time that I spent with family members from the country that are no longer with us.
From grandparents to great aunts & uncles to old neighborhood friends, these people had some of the wisest advice but never worked in corporate America or even had jobs. They successfully ran their households through difficult, challenging times in US history and by doing so, they provided opportunities for a better future for their descendants. Even though they didn’t have leadership titles, their “Front Porch” conversations penetrated the minds of young adults and children. When “Mom” or “Paw Paw” told a story, everyone listened. They captured our attention by dripping a little love, wisdom and guidance through their old country charm.
In the book, Good to Great by Jim Collins, Collins provides a recipe for Level 5 leaders which are also similar to the beliefs of the old time community leaders:
According to Collins there are five attributes that typify leaders that have transitioned their companies from Good to Great.
Each of these five attributes describes my experience with Front Porch leaders. They were always concerned with your well-being, they wanted you to have a better life then them, the only people they bragged on were everyone else, they worked from sun up to sun down, and they credited God, their ancestors and their friends for their success but were transparent about their failures.
I’ve read opinions about whether or not people have the right “Genes” to be a leader and from my vantage point the word should be “Jeans” because that was the attire for the most successful leaders that I’ve ever known...the "Front Porch" leaders.
Thank God for Level 5 and Front Porch leaders!