A leader, its what so many dream to be. There is a lot to be read about leadership, and why or why not we develop such a skill. What makes that special quality? Why some people develop it and why do others struggle. There are some key things to understand about real true leadership, and it is in looking into ourselves where we find what it truly is. As an individual, one always seems to ask others what makes a good leader; the first flaw in finding leadership. When you turn the idea of leadership on its head is when you find out what it is really all about. An overly demeaning leader, that just uses force, can make you feel like an island.
Point One: Leadership develops
Leadership is not something that can be learned, but rather, it is something that one develops. Demanding that someone do something, is not leadership, there is another word for that. I was speaking to one of my new partners just the other day about college classes in leadership. I’m not sure about you guys, but I’ve read book, after book on what it takes to be a good leader. Such material may be inspiring, but it most likely will not enkindle the fire of leadership within you.
I was inspired to write this by reading a Facebook post from a real leader, Cheyn Crangle. He made the point that individuals that are in the military should get a degree in leadership, since they develop the real variety, not the taught variety. Rather the life made experience, that battle tested variety, that any run of the mill person just cannot have. That leadership has been developed and tried by fire. The individual has experienced leadership, and had to use what has to work in order to preserve life.
Point Two: Working for a Leader
Ever play for a coach that you would do anything for? That coach that wouldn’t just scream at the offensive lineman, but would get in there show you what that block should like like; that’s a real leader. I think my most influential leadership experience was when I worked for a painter, and oddly enough, his reasoning was interesting as well. This gentleman actually cited Sun Tszu’s “Art of War” as the model for his leadership. He told me that to be a real leader, you are never to ask someone else to do something that you would not gladly do yourself. Not only does it create affinity (how much you like them), it also allows for duplication, or allowing someone else to model what you are doing. I must say, I enjoyed working for that boss the most; we were extremely productive. Its in him that I truly learned to become a leader.
Point Three: Become a Leader
The servant leader is the most important aspect of leadership, but to get something done, you cannot just be everyone’s friend. It is important to help others be successful. Leadership is, in and of itself a tedious balance. The one that can more easily balance both, and make it feel like a smooth flow, is the one that will be the best leader. Though a leader needs to work along with, he has to have some force in him, because he is the experienced one, and he knows what is required for success. If the people being lead could lead themselves, then his role would not be necessary. It is the experience that he has, that he must impart upon his team, and sometimes there is an aspect of force to it. However, with that force some fineness; another aspect of applied experience.