What is leadership?
This is probably one of the most asked questions from those serving in a supervisory role!
Everyone wants to be a good leader!
Most people can name someone that they feel is a good leader!
There are countless programs on the market promising to teach you good leadership skills!
Is it one of those questions that may not have an absolute answer!
The good news is that I am not selling any magic formula that will impart you with good leadership skills!
In fact the only thing I intend to do is answer the question, "What is leadership?"
I'm going to try to do that throughout this website, but more importantly give you a quick and fast answer on this page!
Keep in mind that I am basing my answer on almost forty years of leadership experience.
That experience includes the United States Marine Corps.
That experience includes working in a senior leadership role for a fortune five hundred international company.
That experience includes being a father of four and a husband to the same wife for almost thirty years.
As I look back over my career as a leader I can tell you without any hesitation that I screwed up many times along the way.
I trusted when I shouldn't have!
I didn't trust when I should have!
I delegated too much!
I didn't delegate enough!
And so on, and so on, and so on!
What I have discovered along the way is what I believe is the absolute cornerstone to what leadership is!
So what is leadership?
Unselfishly serving those you are responsible for!
Understand that this is not giving them whatever they want!
No, this is giving them whatever they need!
Putting those needs above any other wants!
Good leadership skills are those that can discern a want from a need and then filling that need! If anyone could do it, everyone would do it!
A perfect example of a great leader that put serving others at the top of his list was Jesus Christ! If you can emulate His leadership style you will be on your way to becoming a very good leader! So what is leadership?
Making sure your employees have the tools and equipment to do their job!
Making sure you invest in them so that they know how to do their job!
Making sure that you are treating them fairly in all things!
Making sure that you are paying them a fair wage!
Making sure you take the time to understand their personal needs that may require time off from work!
Making sure you listen when they speak!
Making sure you appreciate them for everything they offer!
Making sure you truly care about them and it isn't just an act!
They will know the difference and if it is an act they will not follow you!
The question of "What is Leadership" has been asked by millions of
people over the years! Thousands, if not millions, of Leadership Books
and Leadership Training Seminars have been written and conducted about
it. If you ask ten people about Leadership you will most likely get ten
different answers. There's a very good chance that all ten answers will
have some truth in them as well.
What is Leadership?
I have been in a Leadership Role for more than forty ye.ars now and I believe I have a pretty good handle on the Definition of Leadership! To me Leadership is the ability to get an individual or individuals willingly going in a desired direction with the same purpose in mind! Sounds simple when you boil it down to one small sentence it seems too easy! The problem is there is a lot of experience to make the above happen!
What is Leadership?
Let's take a look at a very simple analogy! Let's say you have a very large, mean, and stubborn Bull that you want to get into the barn. Let's assume for a minute that this Bull is over two thousand pounds of solid muscle with its mind made up to not go into the barn! So how do we get the Bull into the barn without getting us or the Bull hurt?
Let's go over our options!
Option one would be to get behind the Bull and push as hard as we can trying desperately to get the Bull into the barn. I don't want to be the one behind the Bull if that's the option you choose. Someone is probably going to get hurt very badly if not killed and it won't be the Bull!
Option two would be to rope the Bull and try pulling him into the barn. This plan may work but you will need something very strong to pull the Bull and stand by once the Bull is in the barn. I don't want to be the one removing the rope from around their neck!
Option three would be to create a reason for the Bull to go into
the barn voluntarily. This comes through understanding what motivates a
Bull to do something. It might be to have a very pretty cow in the barn.
Just kidding! I could be to have something Bull really likes to eat in
the barn. Well you get the picture.
What is Leadership?
So the bottom line is that if we have a team of individuals that we are leading and desire them to accomplish a goal we must create a reason within them to move toward that goal. The best Leaders create an overall reason and small individual ones along the way to the ultimate on. Such as a Football team wanting to win the Super Bowl, but must win several other games along the way to the Big Game!
Good Luck and May God Bless You!