Leadership Is Hard

So You Want to Be a Leader

There are two basic reasons why leaders are important:  First, they are responsible for the effectiveness of organizations. Stock prices rise and fall according to the public perception of how good the leader is. Second, We need anchors and guides. Leaders inspire us and restore our hope. Great leaders allow us to be part of something bigger than ourselves.

But real leadership is hard.  Great leadership is not simply metrics and achieving financial results (although these are certainly important aspects).  America’s corporate climate is self-perpetuating because it has created an entire generation of managers in its own image. As a result, many CEOs became bosses, not leaders.  They have no ability to inspire anyone (except themselves).

It is not enough for a leader to do things right; the leader must do the right thing. Furthermore, a leader without some vision of where he wants to take the organization is not a leader.

Basic Ingredients of Leadership

The first basic ingredient of leadership is a guiding vision. The leader has a clear idea of what he or she wants to do—professionally and personally.

The second basic ingredient of leadership is passion. The leader who communicates passion gives hope and inspiration to other people.

The next basic ingredient of leadership is integrity: Self-knowledge, candor, and maturity. Until you truly know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, know what you want to do and why you want to do it, you cannot succeed in any but the most superficial sense of the word. 

Every leader needs to have experienced and grown through following— learning to be dedicated, observant, capable of working with and learning from others, never servile, always truthful. Having located these qualities in themselves, leaders can encourage them in others.

WE DO NOT LEAD an organization, department or group; and your people do not follow strategic plans, fancy goals or year-end reports | THEY FOLLOW A PERSON. Often, our understanding is diluted with operational plans, goal setting, revenue and sales forecasting, cash flow, HR, compliance and the company’s bottom line.

How You Positively Influence Others is the Most Important Part of Leadership.