So, what is leadership? Where does it come from?
During every walk of life, leaders emerge. Some do so with relative ease, falling casually into a leadership role; others work a little harder to reach that level of comfort. Nevertheless, there are no rules about the leaders who are born or made. Each and every person has some kind of capacity to lead, whether through serving others in leadership capacities or through inspiring others.
“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things” – Peter Drucker.
We can all lead, and we can all follow, and we can both lead and follow. Middle managers are perfect examples. These managers are not a leader by default. Instead their capacity comes from their behaviours and their actions. Those who lead their subordinates with vision and honesty are leaders. Those who choose, instead, to enforce rules handed down to them by their leaders will remain a follower.
“Power is the ability to take action” – Tony Robbins.
Choosing to be a leader is a choice, and one which many do not consider. We often lead others without realising. Organising a family requires a leader. Work units need leaders, volunteering operations, and even setting up social outings with friends.
The bigger question is what is leadership? And the answer to that is even bigger. The challenge is not with asking big questions, it’s answering them. That’s something I hope to explore a lot throughout this blog.
Who are the leaders?
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi.
We should stop thinking of those high-profile individuals like Richard Branson and Bill Gates as the only kind of leaders and start looking a little closer to home. We have leaders all around us, and it is quite likely that those reading this are also leaders. Some reading this will question that they are leaders, but Howard Schultz of Starbucks would have probably thought the same thing before he became worth several billion dollars.
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other” – John F. Kennedy.
Do not make it the responsibility of others to lead change, lead it yourself. Leadership starts by putting up your hand. Learn eternally and empower yourself to take action. Passion is contagious and others will soon follow.
So, how do you answer this question: What is leadership?