“Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.” – John Maxwell
Everyone can claim that he is a leader, but at the end only his attitude can prove it right or wrong. A great leader doesn’t require an impressive enumeration of achievements and intimidating list of affiliations. Graduating from a top university won’t make one an instant leader. A person may have the most brilliant mind in the organization, but if he has poor relationship skills he isn’t a leader.
Leadership is not measured by one’s stature in life. Being wealthy may probably buy power but it will never afford admiration. There’s a difference between following out of fear and out of respect; out of intimidation and out of of inspiration. In case you want to spot a leader or know if you are one, try these following guidelines:
1. LEADERS ARE NOT BORN, THEY ARE MADE.
“The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.”
No leader is born outright as a leader. They are leaders because their circumstances, experieces and learnings made them as such. Leaders were once followers. They are those who were once bruised, broken and battered by life’s harsh whips. They are those who have recuperated, recovered and redeemed by life’s second or even third chances. They are those who were fixed, equipped and built by life’s greatest calling – to fix, equip and build others too.
They are leaders because they speak wisdom not simply articulation of words. They are not after the tempting invitation of power, influence and limelight because they are after other’s growth. They position themselves in other’s perception not by how they speak their minds, but how they leave a feeling of inspiration. They inspire not to be honored. No, they dont manipulate people to their favors – they inspire simply because they genuinely care.
2. LEADERS PULL PEOPLE UP. THEY ARE NOT THREATEN BY OTHER’S FULL POTENTIAL.
” Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”
The greatest test of a leader is not fearing a company at the top, even if the person he is helping has the potential of reaching farther and further than he has ever gone, so far. A true leader unlocks the potential of others, unconditionally. A true leader isn’t threaten by other’s potentials because he is sure and secure of himself. He is fulfilled. He is happy with his life. He is at peace with himself and everyone around him. He is generous because life has been generous to him.
3. LEADERS ARE CAREFUL AND GENUINE WITH THEIR WORDS.
“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.”
Power offers a temptation of abuse, but a leader knows how to handle it so well. He doesn’t bite to the bait. The tendency of a person who is in the position is to abuse the power bestowed upon him. He thinks as if power is given to him to do whatever pleases him. On the contrary, a leader sees power as a tool to execute his calling – that is to help others.
A leader thinks big, hence deliberate and prudent to his words. He knows that his word has power to build and power to destroy. He is genuine to his words and consistent with his actions. He speaks motivation not only when he wants things to get done. He values people not based on their use. He values people because that is his character – respectful of other. He thinks big but he doesn’t look down on others. He influences people not to gain power. He has power and he uses it to influence. His influence is effortless and selfless.
4. LEADERS ARE STRONG TO TAKE ACCOUNTABILITY.
” A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.”
Leaders are team player. They don’t pass the blame when issue occurs. They take responsibility and accountability of their decisions and their people’s actions. In the same vein, leaders don’t take the credits alone.
5. LEADERS HAVE CONTAGIOUS FEELING OF INSPIRATION.
” If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” —John Quincy Adams
A leader leaves no scars in someone’s heart and ego; a leader leaves nothing but inspiration. A leader gives to his people the journey and experience of achieving their visions. He dictates nothing. He respects that everyone, in the process of getting to destination, needs to go through some personal path so when one achieves the dream it will be more meaningful. A leader doesn’t intrude to that process. He helps but he gives allowance for self-help.
The true measure of leadership is not how far one has gone, but how far someone has reached because of him – and yet he takes no credit.