We all waiting for it, searching for it but why is it not happening? The change the world so desperately need. In recent years we seem to be witnessing fewer inspirational examples of good leadership, and instead are faced with myriad examples of corruption and miss-behaviour from our so-called leaders. The cry now is not for good leaders but for outstanding good leadership. And no, a good leader is not always good in leading.
I’m going to talk about different aspects of leaders, what do you consider as a leader? The history of leadership and its styles and what is the crisis about leaders. The most important topic: what can YOU do!
Does a leader also lead?
So first, what do we consider as a leader and is there any difference between leaders and leading? After some conversations with friends and classmates I found out that there are a lot of similarities when it comes to what they think a leader is. However when it comes to great leadership it differs so much. The most common characteristics about leaders are powerful, strong, convincing, passion, authenticity, accountability and vision according to the classmates.
Many researchers are stating the same. According to Brian Tracy international there are 7 qualities of a great leader (See infographic below). Click here to check out his blog, he is also giving some really nice bonus tips about being a great leader.
The discussion started when we talked about leadership. where some argued that leadership is totally different than being a leader, other stated that it is exactly the same. My conclusion here was that it really depends on who you are asking the question. For example, I consider a leader sure powerful, strong, convincing and some how some distance. However, when it comes to leading, I respect it more when someone is leveling with me, supports me, guides me but also give me responsibilities for the actions I make.
So now I’m curious. My dear reader, what do YOU consider as a great leader, and do you like to be lead by the same characteristics? Leave your opinion in the comment!
Where did it came from?
During my research I came across a funny story about how leadership and leaders are created. according to H. Owen (2016) the story goes way back. Back in the day people lived in small villages and produces enough food and products to survive for weeks and even months. On the other hand, there where also groups of bandits who payed those villages visits to rob the place. After a while the people in the village stopped producing food and products for weeks and started producing for days. This means that every time the bandits visited the villages, they couldn’t take anything because there was nothing to take. Again after a while, those bandits stayed behind in those villages to manage the production. This is an briefly story about how leadership came to its existent. If it is true? I don’t know but sure it is funny.
We can have a dramatic impact on this world if we accept the responsibility for that life.
Before you know what a leader crisis is, you first have to know what a crisis in general is. It is hard to define what a crisis is but believe me, you know when you’re in it.
As the idea of leadership continues to grow in research and business practice over time, it appears that we are reaching a moment in its history where leadership is in danger of meaning everything and nothing. On the one hand, it may be argued that this is typical of the way management ideas develop, especially when we have come to see them as integral to all aspects of life and not just life in work organizations alone. On the other hand, however, this fuzziness around the meanings of leadership makes it all the more urgent to take active steps to rescue the idea so that a clear set of meanings can be distilled to inspire and inform future research and business practice.
The crisis is, beside that within leadership is a lot of corruption and misbehavior, the generation differences. The development of leadership has failed the past 50 years. Leaders are losing their power. The generations before us has their focus on business growth and money, where we (the millennials) are more focusing on social development. An other difference is the respect we gave and earn. The generations before us is respecting leaders with a higher status where we have more respect for moral aspects, knowledge and collaboration.
The typical dialogue of a organization is now all about numbers. This makes the new generations uncomfortable and demotivated.
However, there is always light ate the end. Many researchers stating that the change is finally happening. But we are not here yet!
So, what can You do? It is easy. You don’t have to become the new president to change the world. You and I can change this tomorrow. If we understand the joy and great responsibility of leadership. To close this I would call all the readers to do what their conscience calls them to do in their remit of work, life and world. Take this 3 questions in consideration the next time you walk out:
- When was the last time you stopped and had a good look around you and notice things you were compelled to do something about?
- When was the last time someone reached out to recognize you for what you do and made feel valued for being who you are? (different)
- Why wait to figure out the answer in both these questions and not act on both accounts now?
If leadership doesn’t change, the world wouldn’t either. H. Owen
Learn, implant, improve and share! Leave your comment!
Tracy B (2013). The 7 Best Leadership Qualities. retrieved from, https://www.briantracy.com/blog/leadership-success/the-seven-leadership-qualities-of-great-leaders-strategic-planning/
Owen H (2106). A new thinking on leadership, a global perspective. Kogan page.