Last week I was talking to someone about leadership required in organization at various levels and in society. The experience was people think ‘reasons’ rather than ‘results’ to be successful. The question then is – what is leadership and can ‘everyone’ be a leader ?
“Leadership is not a private reserve of a few charismatic men and women. It’s a process ordinary people use when they’re bringing forth the best from themselves and others. Liberate the leader in everyone, and extraordinary things happen”. – Jim Clemmer. Perfect, so short but smart definition of leadership.
· Leadership is a verb, not a noun.
· Leadership is action, not a position.
· Leadership is defined by what we do, not the role we are in. Some people in ‘leadership roles’ only can perform as leaders, they are ‘bosses’ not leaders. Conversely, many people who have no formal leadership role and yet are excellent leaders. In today’s fast changing world, we all need to be leaders.
To lead is to show the way by going in advance. To lead is to guide or direct a course of action. To lead is to influence the behavior or opinion of others. We all need to be leaders, regardless of our formal title or role. The process of becoming a leader is the same as the process of becoming a highly effective human being. Leadership development is personal development.
It would be easy if we could all become leaders by following a simple set of steps. But the journey of personal growth means finding our own way. Strong leaders are well-rounded and constantly expanding their personal growth around some key Leadership Principles:
# Choose Not to Lose.
Whether we choose to focus on our problems or our possibilities is a key leadership issue. When we are faced with obstacles and failure, those who can overcome adversity and learn from their experiences, turning them into opportunities, are the ones who will be successful.
# Focus and Context – The core of my being.
Our Focus and Context is shaped by three vital questions: Where am I going? (my vision); What do I believe in? (my principles and values) and; Why do I exist? (my purpose or mission).
# Responsibility – ‘If it’s to be, it’s up to me’.
Leadership means accepting responsibility for our choices in life. They refuse to succumb to the “Victimitus Virus” (“it’s all their fault” and “there’s nothing I can do”).
# Authenticity. Leadership isn’t just what we do, it’s something that we are, which then drives what we do. Genuine leadership comes from within. It’s authentic, and based on honesty, integrity, trust and ensuring consistency with our stated values and principles.
# Passion and Commitment.
Successful people are energized by a love for what they do because it brings them ever closer to who they are. They overcome apathy and cynicism, develop a burning commitment to their cause, and with discipline achieve their dreams and desires.
# Growing and Developing – From a phase of life to a way of life.
True and lasting security comes from constant growth and development (reflection and renewal).
# Mobilizing and Energizing. Putting emotions in motion.
Leaders don’t motivate with rewards and punishments. They engage people’s hearts as well as their minds. They get them involved and participating. They actively nurture the “being” or culture of the group, not just the “doing”.
The more the world changes, the more leadership principles stay the same. Leadership principles are timeless. And they apply to all of us, no matter what role we play in society or organizations.
Wish you a happy reading