Recently I was on Facebook trying to figure out what I was going to post to the world and I thought of five questions that I am asked often about leadership.
This article gives a short answer to each of these important questions. Along with some of the response I got back from the world of Facebook.
What is a true Leader?
- A leader is a person who sees something that needs to be done, knows that they can help make it happen, and gets started.
- A leader sees opportunity and captures it.
- A leader sees a future that can be different and better, and helps others see that picture too.
- A leader knows they can’t do it alone.
- A leader is a coach.
- A leader is an encourager.
- A leader views change as their ally.
- A leader is willing to take risks today for something better tomorrow.
- A leader is a learner.
- A leader is a communicator.
- A leader is a coordinator.
- A leader is a listener.
- A leader takes a long view – letting their vision keep their daily steps on track.
- A leader is passionate.
- A leader motivates and inspires.
- A leader values results.
- A leader cares about more than results though; they care about those who are following there lead.
- A leader makes a difference in the lives of others.
- A leader is all of these things and much more.
If Your Actions Inspire Others To Dream More, Learn More, Do More, And Become More, You Are A Leader. “John Quincy Adams”
Are People Born Leaders?
FACEBOOK Friends — Yes in deed People are born Leaders and then they’re taught and conditioned to believe otherwise. John Di Lemme says “Champions are born Losers are made” “Sly Corley”
FACEBOOK Friends — Yup! I’ve never met a leader in the grave “Robin Viray”
FACEBOOK Friends — It Depends. Everyone is born with specific gifts and talents if being a leader is one , then that gift would need the right nourishing, training to help enhance the effectiveness. “Kevin Williams”
FACEBOOK Friends — No they are born and become leaders. Unless they are twins when one comes out they can look back and see he or she is being followed. They are a leader. “Justin Murphy”
FACEBOOK Friends — People are sheep. They follow. Mostly. What are we doing next, sir? “Mark Bock”
Sure they are – I mean everyone is born, right?
You might say that riddle-like answer misses the point. You say the real answer is that some people are truly born to lead. And I would reply that your common statement implies that others aren’t born to be leaders.
So let’s examine that difference of opinion…
When people describe someone as a “born leader” they typically mean that the person is motivating, a good communicator and charismatic. And it is true; some people are blessed at birth with more natural ability in these ways.
But leaders can be great with different innate characteristics as well.
And there is no single small skill set that defines the perfect leader or guarantees success. Everyone is born with a unique set of natural abilities. And all of us can develop skills and styles to complement those natural abilities.
Leaders Are Made; They Are Not Born. They Are Made By Hard Effort, Which Is The Price Which All Of Us Must Pay To Achieve Any Goal That Is Worthwhile . “Vincent Lombardi”
Who is a Leader?
FACEBOOK Friends — Everyone is a leader… it’s just that many people are not aware of it. If a person is the head of a family, you’re a leader. If you coach a sports team, you’re a leader. If a person is responsible for others, you’re a leader. leadership comes in many atmospheres and is handled differently for different situations but it is the knowledge and wisdom of GOD that makes leadership effective look at Solomon. I Am A Leader! “Kevin Williams”
FACEBOOK Friends — The leader is the one the others follow without question. “Rick Hoening”
FACEBOOK Friends — A person with the knowledge, integrity and vision to help others achieve their goals. “Steven Brokman”
FACEBOOK Friends — We all are leaders. If we haven’t realized our potential, we may think we’re not, but if you have ANY ability to influence, you’re a leader. So Mike, I’m a leader. “Brian Goodwin”
This question on the surface is the easiest question I’ve asked so far. After all, I’ve already given some examples.
People in certain roles are leaders, whether they’ve studied for the role, like a doctor, lawyer, teacher or minister… got elected to the role, like a county councilman, mayor, Senator or President… or worked up the through the organization like a supervisor, manager, Vice President or CEO. You can ask most anyone the question “Who is a leader?” and those are the kinds of answers they will give you. They are right, of course. But they are only partially right. Leaders aren’t leaders because of a job title.
Leaders are leaders because they lead. This brings me back to the question above – “Are people born leaders?” Yes they are. But it isn’t just a few that have been hand picked by our Creator or random genetics.
We have all been picked – genetics has selected us all. We were all born to lead, in our own way. We may not be the Chairman of the Board. We may not be the person on the stage. We may not lead with oratory or flair. We may lead by compassion. We may lead by example.
We all can lead. We all have the ability to be remarkable leaders. Leadership isn’t about position. Leadership isn’t about power. Leadership is about potential – your potential.
What Makes A Great Leader?
FACEBOOK Friends — Someone who has the talent to connect with Others. “Wil Ogihara Gamboa”
FACEBOOK Friends — Humility + servant hood, vision + values “Robin Viray”
FACEBOOK Friends — Mike an employee has the Machete and is cutting the path through the forest. The manager is behind them making sure the blades are sharp. The leader is next to them at the top of the tallest tree making sure they are going the right direction. “Rick Silva”
FACEBOOK Friends — A leader establishes and clearly articulates the vision, thereby providing the model by which others can achieve it. The leader then supports the activity of others through reinforcement of the parameters of the vision to make sure everyone stays “on track”. “Kevin Bunn”
FACEBOOK Friends — I like honesty, integrity, and responsibility in a leader. If they know how they tell you; if they don’t they have the courage to admit it. It is pretty simple isn’t it. “Hg Smith”
A great cloud of jargon, debate, and junk theory surrounds the idea of leadership, what it is, who does it, and how to do it well. But if you have just been promoted, and you’re responsible for a group for the first time, there are only a few things you really need to know about leadership.
When you decide to play the role or become responsible for the performance of a group you become a leader. But you don’t undergo some magical change. In fact, it will probably take you over a year to completely adjust to your new role.
You’re a leader because the people in your group treat you like one. The only choice you have is what kind of leader you’ll be.
I believe that leadership is built out of a combination of strategy and great character. However If I was to choose which one you should be without I would have to say that strategy would be the one to be with out.
Before You Can Inspire With Emotion, You Must Be Swamped With It Yourself.
Before You Can Move Their Tears, Your Own Must Flow.
To Convince Them, You Must Yourself Believe.
“Sir Winston Churchill”
When you become a leader your power actually goes down. As an individual contributor, you just have to decide to work harder, longer or smarter to improve performance. When you’re responsible for the performance of a group, the group is your destiny. They choose whether to act or not.
When you become a leader, your influence goes up. The people who work for you pay attention to what you say and do. They adjust their behavior accordingly.
The result is that you use your behavior (what you say and do) to influence the behavior of the people who work for you to achieve a defined objective.
Leadership Is Practiced Not So Much In Words As In Attitude And In Actions. “Harold S. Geneen”
Achieving the objective is part of your job as a leader. The other part is caring for your people. It may be possible to achieve good short term results without caring for your people. But you can’t achieve long term success for you or your company without the willing cooperation of the best folks you can find.
At the end of the day, you can measure your leadership based on those two standards. Did we accomplish what we have set out to do? Are the members of my group better off today than yesterday?
The Real Leader Has No Need To Lead – He Is Content To Point The Way. “Henry Miller”
Why Does Leadership Matter?
FACEBOOK Friends — Leadership Makes Champions! “Fari Shields”
FACEBOOK Friends — Without leadership there is no one to follow, no one to learn from. With out a leader your team has no direction! “Justin Murphy”
FACEBOOK Friends — Leaders get the 1st pick “Peter Saparito”
FACEBOOK Friends — Without leaders, people perish “Robin Viray”
FACEBOOK Friends — A leader has been defined as one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. “Sandra D Brokman”
Parents universally hope that their children develop leadership qualities. They know that leaders are people who are effective in what they do, are respected by others, and typically rewarded for those skills in a variety of ways. It is in these formative years that, through our parents, we first see leadership as desirable and important.
As young people we look up to people around us that motivate and listen to us; people that seem like “real-life” heroes. We consider these people leaders.
The Best Method For Estimating The Intelligence Of A Ruler Is To Look At The Men He Has Around Him. “Niccolo Machiavelli ”
As we grow we begin to relate leaders to their jobs – ministers, successful business owners, entrepreneurs, teachers, police officers. And later Mayors, Presidents, and CEO’s . . .
As adults all of these thoughts and experiences define why we think leaders have desirable traits and play roles we admire (and why we desire these things for our children).
All of these experiences and thoughts help us define why leadership matters – it matters because leaders make a difference and can shape the future. It matters because leaders are valued and valuable. In everyone’s mind leadership, especially when it is good, matters. It is better to have a lion at the head of an army of sheep than it is to have a sheep at the head of an army of lions.
Leadership Is Getting Someone To Do What They Don’t Want To Do To Achieve What They Want To Achieve. “Tom Landry”
Now the Big Question, WHAT ABOUT YOU?
My answers to the five questions above lead to only a question for you to answer…
Do YOU want to be a Leader?
Do YOU see YOURSELF as a Leader?
Do Others see YOU as a Leader?
Do YOU feel that you are a Leader?
Your opportunities for leadership are endless. The rewards are boundless.
When, Where or How Will YOU Lead?
I believe YOU are a leader. Claim it and believe this to be true, for it is. Stake your claim and make a difference in the world around you.
Start With The Premise That The Function Of Leadership Is To Produce More Leaders, Not More Followers. Ralph Nader