Your success in life is largely dependent on people and how well you manage your relationship with them. Many people hold the notion that leadership entails dominance, power and brute force, whereas it is quite the opposite. At its core, leadership is serving others or putting others ahead of yourself. The concept of leadership is service; making a difference in people’s life by the value you bring to the table.
In John C. Maxwell’s words “If you want to the best leader, you can possibly be, no matter how much or how little natural leadership talent you possess, you need to become a serving leader”.
So, some key questions to ponder:
- What is my major influence on those around me?
Is it positive or negative?
For the hard work and diligence that true leadership entails, mere titles cannot suffice. The strength of an organisation is only as great as its leaders.
What is Leadership?
To define leadership, we must revisit the root word Lead. According to the Webster dictionary, the word lead means “to guide on a way”. However, the word Leader is defined as “A person having authority to direct and lead in a certain field in terms of excellence or success”. In a nutshell, leadership is “the capacity to lead”.
From that definition, leadership refers to the ability (of a person) to guide a group of people to achieve a common goal. The keyword is influence. True leadership boils down to influence. It is in this regard that John C. Maxwell opined that “Leadership is not about title, position or flowcharts. It is about one’s life influencing another”.
We can surmise that leadership is influence. Without influence, leadership is a mirage. No one is born a leader rather it is a skill that can be honed over time. Having explored the concept of leadership, let’s check out some insightful lessons that leaders must know.
Important Lesson for Leaders
According to Richtopia, effective leadership requires the gathering of facts, not just opinions.
It involves developing a deep understanding of the process, cultivating courage and learning the skill of effective execution.
A leader’s behaviour, his/her choices, how (s)he relates with other people and navigate difficulties determines the kind of support they receive.
Here are 4 lessons every leader must learn:
- Effective leadership does not require perfection: To be a great leader, you must make peace with the fact that leaders are as fallible and imperfect as every other person walking the planet. What sets you apart, however, is your openness to learn from those around you, communicate, rise to your feet after making mistakes.
- Leaders are always watched: This should not make you feel disheartened. However, it should propel you to give your best in service. Your values should be consistent with your actions.
- Leaders are a source of energy to their followers: Ideally, followers draw strength from their leaders. This can be through the leader’s encouraging words, empathy, support, understanding, and courage. Therefore, leaders must have a system of reenergizing themselves to support others. Constantly working on their minds and psychological well-being prevents leaders from getting burned out due to constant demands from followers.
- Success and Leadership go hand in hand: How a leader achieves success and how well they demonstrate leadership largely depends on the value and principles they uphold.