“…And be a simple kind of man
Be something you love and understand…” -Lynyrd Skynyrd
I’ve always wanted to be an intellectual…I know a few… got to hang out with a few…but no matter how I try…I’m a simple dude.
I’ve read a myriad of leadership book, seen the movies, listened to the podcasts…but in the end: what is leadership?
It’s what you say it is….
The word “leadership” gets tossed around a lot…yet… real, effective, productive leadership is still very uncommon. Now, I’m not quoting any study or research. Simply an opinion based on a several decades of observation.
At times people will ask…what makes a strong leader…first you have to understand yourself. What motivates you, what are your strengths, are you a “Greater Good Leader” or does “Personal Power” motivate you–looking good for the camera, the personal praise, the perks, the corner officer?
Next are two strategic concepts a true leader must nail. First, a leader has to have the ability to visualize what success looks like; meaning that leaders must be able to define their organization’s success destination, describe what the unit will look like when it gets there, and determine how long it will take to achieve those goals. Vision is incredibly important and it is amazing how many leaders simply just don’t understand it. Secondly, leaders must have the ability to understand their personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of the organization… and have the character and courage to move the unit toward the VISION.
There are many nuances of leadership, but I am a simple man. So the first step in becoming a strong leader is taking the time to define what leadership means for you…but your definition has to be based on the two strategic concepts of defining your vision and developing the character qualities that encourage others to follow your lead.
Role models are important as well. Who are your role models? Emulate great leaders, and understand every great leader began by taking one important first step: defining what leadership meant to them. Once you know what kind of leader you want to be you can begin developing the skills needed and the courage to test yourself.
Without effective leadership, there is just chaos … there is little team work, little consistency, little pride, and little loyalty. Every day is just another day, without purpose or direction…status quo and punching the clock…there is no greater misery and life is simply too short for that…. and there is too much to do! Define Leadership…get a vision…develop character and courage. Too simple?
Just do it!