What is leadership?
What are the characteristics of a great leader? Does occupying a position of authority automatically make someone a leader, or is leadership something entirely different.
I just started reading a book written by Jefferey A. Krames – Lead with Humility: 12 Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis and this got me thinking more about what it means to be an effective leader. For most adults, chances are you will be leading at least one other person at one point or the other. It could be as a parent in a family, at work, at school e.t.c.
All the scenarios above speaks to what I call planned or day-to-day leadership. However, you and I may find ourselves in unplanned circumstances, due to emergencies, natural disasters or other unforeseen circumstances that may result in the need for someone to rise up and take a leadership role. This is not the point where you pick up a book to get a few pointers. Rather, it is a time that tests your abilities and capabilities to lead.
We read stories of men and women who step up in the most stressful and sometimes terrifying circumstances and make tough calls. Developing your leadership skills is very important and crucial. It needs to be intentionally practiced and nurtured every day. It is also important to know the type of leader that gets people to follow and act.
When a time comes and people around you, perhaps strangers need someone to stand up and take charge, will that leader be you? If you ever find yourself in such a situation where you are needed to rise up to lead, would you know what to do? Learning about being an effective leader is not just for Presidents, or CEOs of large corporations, it is an essential skill for anyone that wants to leave a positive mark in this world.
Here are 12 quotes to get you thinking more about the type of leader you are, and the type of leader you want to be.
~Robin S. Sharma 1. Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It's about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers.
~ Pope Francis I 2. Let us never forget that authentic power is service.
~ Jefferey A. Krames 3. Leadership is not about perfection, it is about espousing a new vision and getting others to live that vision.
~ James Humes 4. The art of communication is the language of leadership.
~ Chris Hadfield 5. Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It's about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others' success, and then standing back and letting them shine.
~ John F. Kennedy6. Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower7. The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.
~ Bill Bradley 8. Leadership is unlocking people's potential to become better.
~ Theodore Roosevelt9. People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.
~ Queen Elizabeth II10. I know of no single formula for success. But over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together.
~ Colin Powell11. Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.
~ Harvey S. Firestone 12.The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.