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In our country, we throw the word leadership around lightly, and I believe we misuse it. What does leadership mean? It is such a simple question, yet it continues to vex consultants and the lay people alike. To answer this, let us first look at what leadership is not. Leadership is not a top spot in a hierarchy. Leadership has nothing to do with seniority. Leadership is not found in titles. Real leaders do not need a title to lead. Their authority is reinforced by their follower’s trust. Perhaps the lowest form of leadership is a leader resting on the old “I am the boss so do what I say” concept. In this concept, people listen to you because they have to, not because they have any desire to. They listen to you based solely on your position, not on their respect or trust for you. Most people I meet use this style of leadership. To me, this is not leadership at all. Peter Prucher defined a leader as someone who has followers. Warren Bennis says “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality”. Bill Gates said “As we look into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others”. John Maxwell defined leadership as influence, nothing more and nothing less. Either way, leadership is more than just managing people, and it is a whole lot more than just a title. In addition, leadership is forfeiting your right to complain and to do what is in only your best interest. Leadership is not about you, it is about the people you lead.
Just a Thought
Published on Thursday, April 17, 2014 @ 3:31 PM CDT
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