If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader – Former US President John Quincy Adams
When we hear people talk about leadership, many people think national politics, parliaments, and other big public positions but leadership does not begin there.
It begins in our homes, schools, work places, communities to name but a few. Leadership is not about holding lofty positions and enjoying the perks?
It is about the ability to lead and therefore serve the people as opposed to ruling servants. Leadership is more about servitude and less about control.
It is not uncommon for some individual to seek positions and titles and then seek to use those positions and titles to exert their influence on their juniors forcefully. These people are eager to be called the “boss.”
They want authority to be derived from their position for the sake of their title instead of painstakingly building that authority through mutual respect and clear rational thinking and decision-making in the process of serving those you are meant to lead.
The history of the world is strewn with individuals who have sought to rule instead of lead by the use of forceful coercion to exert submission to their sense of leadership. But true leadership comes from within.
If an individual stands in a workplace meeting and says that we need to give each other due respect because we are all worthy of this respect for the effort we put in the organization, people will believe him if he is seen to respect his peers, his juniors and his seniors in equal measure.
But if the person in question is the leader of hooliganism, gossip and corrupting behavior his workmates will seldom believe in him.
Just as leadership, in the twenty first century, genuine authority is earned not demanded.
A person in a position of authority should be able to exude respectful behavior and in effect earn his fellow peers’ respect.
A good leader must not demand obedience from his subjects but must be able to demonstrate an ability to draw obedience without demanding it by exemplifying fairness and good judgment irrespective of social classes or standards.
A leader who demands obedience or authority as opposed to drawing it from his subjects who in this case he is supposed to serve is lacking of personal humility and may be not respectful or may lack the ability to inspire the people around them to be better and hence will reduced to issuing orders.
The environment today favors kings of persuasion as opposed to the use of power or force to get things done. Politics is basically a battle to persuade the voter that you are the best person to get the job done.
Whether you are the best or not does not affect your ability to win apart from the perception that the voter gets of you. So is advertising. It’s all about image.
An old spite advert that ascertained that “Image is everything” is spot on.
Corporate leaders don’t only need to understand strategy but also have to be able to inspire their sales and managerial terms into believing that they can do the job at hand.
More and more companies are encouraging creative environments where employees are encouraged to think innovatively and harness ideas for progress.
Hence the leader’s role changes from issuing orders to creating conducive environment for ideas to flourish and to direct the creative flow in a direction that will maintain business growth avoid over-scattering of ideas and create an all inclusive atmosphere.
Creative people require less control and more guidance and encouragement. Control stifles the mind while encouragement and guidance breeds ideas.
Politicians need to be masters of garb in public while in private need to be the kings of strategy in order to succeed as leaders. Church leaders need to be kings of persuasion and vendors of hope.
Every where leaders who understand the difference between serving and ruling are required and it is left for individuals to make conscious choices if they would like to become leaders in their respective communities.