The world is craving for transformational leadership. The world is craving for strategic change. The world is craving for a leader whose people will look up to with admiration. A leader who stands strong in the eye of the storm. A leader who creates a vision which captures people’s hearts and minds and make them follow him or her with every piece of their beings, with all their passion. A Leader who inspires everyone around him to be at his or her very best. A leader who sees the best in all people and situations. A leader who never, never, never gives up. A leader whose vision reminds his people that there is meaning, a big meaning for their life and it is not just about making a living but a great mission. A leader whose philosophy is beyond the “give and take” and beyond “the stick and the carrot”. The world is craving for transformational leadership.
Leadership is not an ego position. It is at the opposite a service position. That is why in some parts of the leadership literature, they talk about the servant leader.
A real leader takes care of his people. He listens to them, he serves them and ensures that their needs are met because very simply real good leaders are good people with big heart. They are not what some of the media try to publicize: the tough guys who have the big carrot and the huge stick and fire everyone who don’t stick to the rules or the smart guy who know has the A to Z answers all the time.
Real leaders are the totally the opposite. Real leaders care about their people, about their needs, and about their views. Instead of bossing and instructing people what must be done, they are listeners, they seek different opinions and views to enrich their perspective.
The biggest waste in any organization is not waste of material resources. It is not the over consumption of business travels or electricity or papers or calls. It is simply the waste of the extra-ordinary potential that is dormant in its people and left untouched.
This is the biggest waste because human beings have an unbelievable potential which stays untapped until it is inspired and motivated by something ideal, a big purpose and a unique vision. That is where people can deliver twice, triple or even ten times what they contribute normally.
This great potential is indeed craving for a leader to unleash it. It is craving for a leader who can move people not through their intellects but through their hearts. It is craving for a leader to awaken the lost passion, the dedication and the self motivation. It is craving for a leader who can inspire this fire within people to go the extra mile beyond any limitation every day to achieve a worthy goal, a great vision and a higher ideal.
This is the real waste in every organization and that is true in all contexts from families, to teams to firms to nations.
Some managers and leaders (by title) fail to understand that the main value of any organization is really to work as a team. They miss the point that the whole idea of a team, department or company is to synergize the greatest potential in the organization; its people. For them, leading is simply an ego journey “my way or the highway” which is ultimately the highway to failure. True leaders, at the opposite, know that the only way is “our way” so they integrate everyone within the organization in the vision, in the goals definition, in the solution to every challenge. They don’t tolerate other opinions; they always, always, always seek it.
Most of us can tell stories how our life is bad or how we didn’t achieve what we want because of something or someone except ourselves. We didn’t pass the exam because the teacher was not fair or the questions were too difficult, we are not happy because the weather is not good today, we did not get that job because the requirements are too tough, we are always moody because that it is something in our genes. As a matter of fact, social conditioning has made us not only believe these stories but also create them every day to hide our own lack of initiatives and pro-activeness to address the challenges we face in our life.
It is very easy to put the responsibility on someone or something outside our own control because it makes us able to justify not being, having or doing what we want. Because it takes much courage to admit that it is our own fault that we didn’t change our response to these circumstances or factors outside us until we get the results we were aiming for.
But why do we have to take responsibility of the results we are getting in our own life for being who we are or having what we have or doing what we do? Because very simply by doing so we change from being an object to a subject. Because it empowers us to take control; to take action; to change; to do something different; to be the one in charge; to move once and for good from victimhood to leadership.
Whether leaders of countries or organizations; we always get the leaders we deserve because our leaders are nothing more than a reflection or a mirror of who and what we are. They represent the sum or the result of our collective consciousness.
Therefore, if we are not happy with the leaders we have, we need to start to change ourselves. If our leaders are weak, we need to become strong. If our leaders are unethical, we need to become more ethical. If our leaders are not good, we need to move to greatness ourselves first. Otherwise, if we keep on blaming and complaining about our leaders, we will continue to empower them and dis-empower ourselves for changing and getting better leadership. We always get the leaders we deserve, because they represent the result of who and what we are. So the only way to have better leadership is by becoming better ourselves.
“This City is what it is because our citizens are what they are.” Plato
The world is hungry for real leaders. For someone who would stand up and say I am responsible; I am responsible for the mess; not complain and blame everyone else about it. For someone who would stand tall in the middle of the storm. For someone whom people will look at and feel confident they can follow. For someone who can inspire people and make them become their best. For someone who can decide and take action. For someone who cares about everyone around him and not just about himself. For someone who thinks “We” not “I”. For someone who is kind but strong and powerful. The world is hungry for leaders; for true and inspiring leaders.
To transform our lives and make a real lasting change, we need to move from mediocrity to greatness; from aiming at good to not accepting less than excellence; from making a living to not settling for less than what we can be, have or do and this is all about Leadership. Many of us, however, associate mistakenly leadership with being the president or CEO of a company, organization, group or a country. So what is leadership really?!
Leadership is an attitude. Leadership is responsibility. Leadership is influence. Leadership is inspiration. Leadership thus is about everyone: you, me, a mother, a father, a teacher, a student, an employee, a manager, a driver, even a child. Leadership is realizing that we are influencing people around us every single moment, whether we like it or not. The key question though is: are we a good influence or a bad influence? Are we inspiring everyone around us to be and do their best or do we drag them down? Are we setting the example by being a role model or illustrating how someone can play at best the role of the victim?
Leadership is not about positions, neither stars on shoulders nor titles. It is not about being the head, the president, or the CEO. It is not about dragging people behind like “sheep”, because true leaders don’t see anyone as sheep. They only see every human being at their best, even when the latter don’t and can’t realize this. They see every human being as great and extraordinary, with unlimited potential. Leadership is not about being authoritarian, not about the carrot and the stick.
Leadership is about not expecting someone to come and save us from whatever we are challenged with in life, but to be responsible, to take action and make the change ourselves, whether by changing our attitude or our action. Leadership is about not complaining or blaming your parents, your teachers, your bosses, your company or the economy and the political system. Leadership is about standing up and taking ownership by saying I AM responsible for what I have or haven’t done. Leadership is about waking up from the “it is not my fault” old story. It is about getting rid of all these excuses that harm no one, but us, because they can imprison us forever and they are truly our only limitation.
Leadership is in every one of us, even when we are just walking on the street, eating at home or playing a game with friends. And yes, everyone IS and CAN BE a leader. So whatever you are; an adult or a child, a mother or a father, a brother or a sister, a teacher or student, a manager or a labourer; be the shining example of what an excellent human being can be. BE A LEADER.