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Leadership throughout the centuries has not changed. You will always feel when you are being lead by someone great and by someone inspiring. You may not always understand what the X-factor is that makes this girl or guy a great leader but you do know how good it feels when they challenge you, your team, the whole organization to â€
be all you can beâ€ and to want to give more.
If you are someone that is privileged to be one of these great leaders you again probably donâ€™t know what the X-factor is, but you will understand the privilege bestowed upon you in being able to influence positive change in people and the opportunity to inspire greatness from your teams. In great leadership this privilege is used for good, honourable and worthwhile causes, however, when it is abused it only leads to fulfilling the selfish ego of the leader often at the expense of the great people being lead.
Anyhow, this article is toremind the leaders amongst us that this privilege must never be taken forgranted. This privilege has no place for complacency if you are sincere aboutusing your gift for goodness either professional or personal. Do you understandwhy you are able to positively influence. Do you know that people look to you for personal and professional guidance. Do you know that many people would be prepared to â€œgo beyond the call of dutyâ€ for you because they believe in you and the cause you are championing? Therefore you owe it to be honest about your motives, you owe it to choose honourable causes and you owe it to be honest about the challenges they will face along the way. You should also get to know them; you need to know what motivates them, what is their culture, what are their personal and professional circumstances and how does this generation think. What do they see as the reward and not what do i see as sufficient reward. You need to appreciate that while you hold the privilege of leadership you are unknowingly their coach and mentor.
2 recent stories that have influenced my thoughts on the Power of Leadership for both The Bad and the Good. The first story was when I attended a lecture by one of the great Commercial Leaders in Australia of the recent past. He opened his story with an apology and a declaration that his generation of company leaders had generally served the community for â€œself-interestâ€ motivated by ego, greed and general power. Although many of their causes were on the surface righteous they masked a series of selfish decisions that were never about the public brands they represented but simply self-serving. Leadership by this individual is therefore misplaced and wasted and although I think that the individual is genuinely remorseful for his part in the role, he has wasted a tremendous opportunity to influence a brighter future for many aspiring future leaders.
The 2nd story is about aselect group of future managers that I have been mentoring in â€œunderstanding leadershipâ€ and more about themselves in readiness for future Leadership roles. The grand finale of the exercise was for them to all write a couple of chapters in a book that is soon to be published around 16 key attributes of future great leaders. They were to write their stories around personal stories and the related personal learningâ€™s. What was inspiring is the level of maturity, thought, reflection and general insight that they all have as to what leadership really needs to represent and the simplicity of the whole notion. You must be a good communicator, you must be prepared to take brave decisions, you will achieve more with a generous and open disposition etc, etc.
The result of this small series of stories is that I have a growing confidence that our future leaders will do us proud and better serve the community through the privilege of this position.
So there you have it. Leadership is certainly all powerful with history reminding us time and again on how it has been used for good and bad. The foundation blocks for informing your own leadership style is your individual values. If they are self-serving values you will be a self-serving leader. On the other hand if they are sincere, generous and all about the cause you are championing you will evangelize a greatness and sincerity in your following. The audience will mirror your intent. What is then required to keep you â€œgenuine to the privilegeâ€ is a strong sense of self awareness and the right meaningful measures.
What sort of leader are you?