Every endeavor which brings people together, requires effective leaders if it is to be successful. Leadership can focus the energy and the actions of a group toward a common purpose, and bring with it great achievements.
“The real leader has no need to lead – they are content to point the way.” — Henry Miller
You can be hired, elected or appointed to a position but your title alone will not make you a leader. True leadership is an activity, not a title. It is what you do in your role, not the role itself, that makes the difference. Many times you’ll find a leader who doesn’t even hold a title, but who is unanimously acknowledged to be the group’s driving force.
True leaders don’t request permission to be leaders. They just do it. The father who shows up at every PTA meeting, voices his opinion, and volunteers to help, becomes a leader. The engineer who works long hours to ensure that all parts of the project mesh together, becomes a leader. The sales rep who shares her successful techniques with reps in other territories, becomes a leader. The restaurant team member that has passion, drive, a great smile and a desire to serve others, is a leader.
Leadership is a delicate balance, and requires constant vigilance. The leader must be simultaneously confident in their own judgment, and considerate of all the various needs and perspectives of the group members. Leaders must speak and act decisively, while constantly examining their own motives. Leaders must make decisions, and then stand by those decisions. There will always be opposition. That is the nature of leadership. Leaders must have enough confidence, and decisiveness, to overcome differences of opinion and to act in the interest of the entire group.
- Leaders are focused
- Leaders are confident
- Leaders have a high-energy level
- Leaders are organized
- Leaders effectively manage time
- Leaders are well prepared
- Leaders listen
- Leaders act with judgment and reason
- Leaders are self-disciplined
- Leaders are patient
- Leaders lead by example
- Leaders are committed to their followers
- Leaders develop leaders
- Leaders cast a vision
- Leaders don’t take it personally
- Leaders are open minded
- Leaders resolve conflict
- Leaders give recognition
- Leaders are masters of the “Why”
- Leaders motivate
- Leaders practice humility
There is so much that could be said about each one of those bullet points. Whether we like it or not, we are all in a leadership position….but that doesn’t make us any more of a leader than me barking makes me a dog.
To be a leader, be a shining example. Do precisely that which you would lead others to do, and do it spectacularly. The world can always benefit from more good, effective leaders. We should all be making the choice to be one.