Dear Leader.I keep battling with this concept of leadership. Who is a leader? Many articles, books, journals and other words of wisdom has been written on the concept of leadership; what is leadership, who is a leader, how to be a successful leader, leadership approaches, leadership types, transformational leader, servant leadership and so on and so forth.
Leadership is about leading, leading is done by a leader, so who is a leader? There are many interesting definition of a leader and types of leaders. At We CAN Leadership Institute our definition of a leader is ‘one who influences other people by the content of their character and the quality of their work.’This simple definition sees two aspect to a leader; their ‘being’ (their character) side and their ‘doing’ (work output). These are two sides of the same coin, both sides has to be in sync and must reflect each other; if not there would be weaknesses that negatively impacts people. If a leader focuses more on their character (being good, honest, and charismatic) and does not achieve result, the leader would be deemed a failure. At the same time, if the focus is on achieving result by any means possible, even dishonest ones, the leader would lose the respect of their followers. It looks as if you can’t really win, doesn’t it? But I believe you can achieve result still having a character worthy of emulation.
This is the aspect of leadership that these leadership nuggets focuses on, as we develop our skills, abilities and capabilities on our doing side, we want to also give the same attention to the content of our character; who we are.The world sees a leader as someone in a position of authority; to make decisions that affects or impacts peoples’ life directly or indirectly. That position of authority could be through selection, election or even self delegation. This position gives you the authority to make decisions that impacts lives; through policies, systems, laws & regulation, decrees etc. I respect positional leaders because they such tremendous responsibility; they are judged by their ability to deliver on expectations.
People who are leaders because of their position of authority have to go an extra mile to become an inspiration to people; by the content of their character. It takes more than just achieving ‘result’ on tangible output, in addition touching the hearts of people. I have observed many positional leaders focus so much on meeting targets and objectives that they forget that the people who would help them to do this are human beings with feelings, motivations, aspirations and emotions.Each one of us has strengths, as a leader it takes self awareness to know which areas you have strengths and where you are lacking. If you are a result oriented leader, you need to work on your ‘people skill’. The leader who puts people first at the expense of achieving result needs to find the right balance; a leader who does not achieve result or deliver on their promise would soon be defined as a failure.
A leader would know how to find the right balance. Take this tip from Albert Einstein;
"Try not to become a man of success but a man of value."