I opened the talk on leadership some days back and I noted that it’s gonna be a long talk about leading; so let’s proceed from there. Rightly established from the words of Dr. Howard Hendricks, a leader is someone that leads. It’s just simple from there, leadership is an act, not a post or a title. You will be referred as a leader only when you proceed to lead, not actually when you are promoted as the MD.
Let me just say few things I have encountered, by encounter I meant opinions I have held and those of others; about leadership that are quite wrong.
1. Leaders are born: I should have put “or made” here because both are quite a myth being alone. Leaders are neither born nor made; but leaders as much as are born are also made.
Everyone is born with the ability or the instinct to lead, that feeling to make something right in every person is a leadership trait.
We all had it, but few still have it. As much as we all have the potential, there is still a making process of a leader.
2. All leaders have an elevated position: the lowest level of leadership is positional leadership, you may not be a real leader; but the position makes people follow you. Leadership is beyond position as we have leaders even amidst the followers. In your personal life, you don’t need a position to lead yourself, in your community, you don’t need a position to make sure there is a smooth running.
It is the display of good leadership qualities that brings position or should.
Leadership does not start with position, but position should be a platform to express more leadership qualities.
3. Leaders are perfect: I have seen leaders who go about masking their weaknesses, they want to appear as perfect, able in all. That’s a façade, no one is perfect with leaders inclusive. Many times we mount too much pressure on leaders and they sometimes expect too much from themselves too because of the myth that leaders are perfect.
All men has weakness, it’s not something to be ashamed of, but a reason to know you are not indispensable.
4. Leaders direct while sitting in a lofty seat: this is the biggest myth considering what kind of leaders we get to see daily. Many have confused leadership with being authoritarian or tyrannical.
A leader is someone who inspires others to follow a course; that means, he is already on that course.
A leader is not someone that sits in an office and sends out his followers to the field without first checking out what is to be done and even showing how it is to be done practically. Leadership is best done with example, not from a lofty seat.
As good as it is to know what leadership is, it is equally important to know what it is not. There is more to leading than being at the front row, or having the biggest office. Responsibility and sacrifice are the high points of leadership. Thanks for reading.