The topic of leadership is one that I find very intriguing. Throughout the years I have always questioned what makes someone a good leader. I’ve always thought that a good leader is someone that helps people grow and be better, is kind and courteous to the people that follow them, and a good role model. According to Forbes the top 10 qualities that people look for in a leader is the Ability to Inspire, Intuition, Creativity, Positive Attitude, Commitment, Confidence, Sense of Humor, Communication, Ability to Delegate, and Honesty. Surely these are great qualities to have in a leader, but does that really make someone a leader? Take a moment to reflect on the “leaders” in our society today. As Wayne Dyer points out “many contemporary politicians refer to themselves as “leaders” by virtue of the fact that they hold public office” (p. 9). It is clear that just because someone has a leadership role does not mean they have what it takes to be a leader.
I think that many people that gotten away from leaderships styles that help foster growth in their followers. Dyer discovered a keen difference in the qualities in he leaders of the Renaissance era vs. now. He discovered that the leaders of that era were “artists, writers, and musicians.” These individuals differed in their leadership skills from today because through their expression of heart and soul they were able to help others “discover a resonating voice within themselves” (p. 9-10). I find this information interesting because I would bet that these individuals did not consider themselves leaders nor did they ever hold the title of a leader, yet somehow they became leaders without ever trying.
True leaderships are not based on power and greed. “True leaders enjoy the trust of others, which is very different from enjoying the perks and flattery and power that ego insists are the signs of being a leader” (Dyer, p. 10). So many people are misguided about effective leadership skills. Many leaders get so caught up in the power that one holds in a leadership role. They tend to dictate how things are run, make unrealistic expectation of their followers, and take majority of the credit for successes. Dyer makes it clear that this style of leadership is wrong and that, “The true leader acts in such a way as to be hardly known in the entire process. This leader offers trust, encouragement, and congratulations as others find their own ways” (p. 10).
Becoming a true leader sounds so much more gratifying and meaningful. Offering others the opportunity to foster their own ideas, be free of being micro-managed, and have the trust of their leader sounds pretty amazing. I can only image how this style of leadership increases morale, one’s self-efficacy, and overall production. If you are interested in becoming a true leader follow these simple rules when leading “before acting stop and ask yourself if what you are about to say is going to create hate, fear, admiration, or self-awareness. Choose to nurture self-awareness ” (p. 11).
Thanks for reading,
Rebecca Hunt, MS
Dyer, W. (2002). Wisdom of the ages: A modern master brings eternal truths into everyday life. New York: Quill.
Top 10 Qualities That Make A Great Leader. (n.d.). Retrieved December 22, 2014, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/tanyaprive/2012/12/19/top-10-qualities-that-make-a-great-leader/