By J. William DeMarco
Huge issue… so many of us think of leadership in terms of position… i.e. I am the manager…. I am the CEO… so I am a leader or positional leadership vice authentic leadership. Many others see leadership only in terms of action…you know these people… LOOK at me… I’M LEADING! Leadership is SO much more than that. Leadership is not just something you do… it is something you are! You live it, you breath it and you are always trying to get better at it.
Hence…the greatest leaders have this sense of magnetism about them, you can just sense it when they talk…you can sense their passion when they walk into a room…it is WHO they are…they are leaders–sure they may also be the CEO, or the manager, or the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force…but more than that—that person is a leader… and people are attracted to who they are.
Being a leader MUST precede DOING leadership. Too many leaders today are just DOING leadership, and sadly they are not true leaders. To achieve the truly high goals that are demanded in leading in today’s globally interconnected environment, we all need to be better people and character is indeed key. There is this common problem that occurs when a leader’s real identity and desired results don’t match. But when a leader displays consistency of character, competence, and purpose….it makes a truly powerful statement to the people around them and it draws the organization and community together.
So what? Leadership is a journey…always has been…always will be. A journey of self discovery and enlightenment–if you desire to do great things, it is simple–seek to become a better person and you will become a stronger leader. Are the “leaders” around you on this journey of self discovery and improvement? If not…your organization is probably not growing as it could….but If you are willing to depart on the journey…the world is indeed your oyster.