What is a Leader?
There have been a lot of happenings lately that have me asking this question. I’ve also been asked by several organizations to give workshops on leadership, so it must be on other’s minds as well.
A Leader is More Than a Title
A leader can also be a boss, a parent, a friend, a volunteer officer in an organization and/or an elected official. Being these things simply describes something someone does. But, being a leader describes who someone is at their core. Anyone can be a leader, it has nothing to do with the title given. I believe with all my heart that our world would be a more loving, compassionate and productive place with more true leaders.
Leaders are the Difference
A leader brings out the best in others. A leader doesn’t assume authority because of a title or a position. A leader nurtures relationships, builds trust and genuinely cares about others’ success.
It only appears to take more time to nurture relationships, build trust and genuinely care about the success of others. Having conversations and listening to people who are affected by your decisions may take time, but true leaders do this because in the end it creates a space for stronger relationships and deeper trust. This is the foundation for the environment in which unimaginable opportunities happen and creativity flourishes. Leaders are the difference between people giving the minimum or giving their best.
A True Leader…
A true leader understands when a decision may impact others negatively and they care. They make a point to sit down and break difficult news before it is heard elsewhere. They take responsibility for the effects of their decisions. They don’t just enjoy the benefits of their position and expect there to be no consequences.
A true leader understands that they carry the “power” in the relationship and therefore responsibility rests with them. A true leader takes this responsibility seriously and humbly. They reach out often, seek to understand and act with compassion always.
A true leader wants everyone around them to succeed. They don’t blame others when things go wrong and they don’t talk badly about others. They have honest and compassionate conversations with individuals, outlaying plans for growth opportunities – wanting others to succeed. They don’t leave people in impossible situations, expect them to get themselves out, all while blaming and talking poorly of them. Leaders give away credit often and take the blame frequently.
A true leader doesn’t create an us verse them mentality. They care about everyone and are transparent and equitable.
A true leader gives buy in to team members, allowing people to have a voice. Telling people what to do, how it is going to be and saying “I can do what I want”, both with your words and your actions, creates division and is emotionally immature. You may be the boss, the parent, the officer or elected official, but if you really want a high functioning team, family and/or organization – be a leader.
Leaders outperform EVERY SINGLE DAY and so do their organizations
Life is short. It has been said that people are lonely at the top. I say only “non-leaders” are lonely at the top. Leaders are amazing and people truly gravitate to them. Be a leader…
A leader inspires.
A leader coaches.
A leader brings the best out in others.
A leader influences change.
A leader builds a team.
A leader leaves a legacy.
What is Your Legacy?
Will others say they are a better person because of knowing you? Is the world a better place because of you? Be a leader and leave a legacy of greatness. You can change the world, one leadership choice at a time.