“Leadership is not magnetic personality that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not ‘making friends and influencing people’ that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”
— Peter Drucker
“If there is anything I would like to be remembered for it is that I helped people understand that leadership is helping other people grow and succeed. To repeat myself, leadership is not just about you. It’s about them.”
— Jack Welch
“To become a leader, then, you must become yourself,
become the maker of your own life.”
— Warren G Bennis
I used to think the leader was at the top–that there is only one leader in a group–like the CEO of the company is the leader and everyone else is a follower. How limiting my thinking was at that time.
Can we have a world full of leaders? I say, absolutely! I recommend that leadership skills be taught in kindergarten and beyond. Everyone would benefit from the John C Maxwell School of Leadership! His career has been a magnificent lesson in leadership. He’s written so many leadership books that they could take you all the way through High School. Throw in a little Rudy Giuliani, a little Max DePree, President Lincoln, and Warren Bennis and that will insure some tasty variety in college. It might even be good to dabble in a bit of Ronald Reagan and Franklin Roosevelt. What a great education!
Yes, we all can be leaders and I highly recommend the pursuit. Leaders are readers is the saying and I am sure that saying is correct. I do recommend all the authors I just mentioned and a long list of others. There is much to learn about leadership, for sure. For me, it has become and will continue to be a life-long study. As I learn, I grow and become more and that helps me to become a better leader. Wisdom is important. There is no doubt about that. We want all leaders to have wisdom. However, we cannot wait on wisdom to lead. Much wisdom comes from the act of doing.
A desire to lead is important. I really think that we all have the desire, although, many of us have shoved that desire way down in the darkness somewhere. Get your flashlight out and find it as it will come in handy.
The most important thing that I have learned about leadership is this: practice. Go lead. Go do. Don’t pay attention to whether people follow or not. Just lead. Make mistakes. You get lots of do-overs. Keep doing the do-overs. Keep reading. Keep learning. Keep trying. Keep moving. There is nothing that will take the place of practice when it comes to leadership (or any other thing worth doing!).
The last thing I want to share about leadership is to be as much yourself as you can. Let your personality fly like a flag. If everyone doesn’t like you, it’s okay. Be the best you that you can be. Don’t try to be someone else. Learn the lessons that others teach, and then go make them your own. Don’t memorize what you learn, understand it, and then personalize it to fit you. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re doing it wrong. You will know by how you feel. Be bold. Be yourself, that unique you.
The world is always crying for more and better leaders. Accept the challenge and lead where you are. It is a worthy endeavor and the rewards are plenty!
I Am A Leader. I Lead Myself First!
Spread Some Joy Today–Phrases like, “that’s not my job,” don’t come from the lips of a leader. Leaders lead themselves first, then others. Lead yourself like a master today.