If you are a Leader worth following, then it should be safe to assume that you have at the very least, a Clear Vision that offers an outlook beyond where you are currently and provides a view of where you intend to be. In my opinion, having a clear vision is no more than a dream if you do not possess the following attributes and characteristics:
· Initiative/Drive – Without these two attributes, leadership is next to impossible. A leader knows nothing about procrastination and indecision. If you happen to be in a leadership position and don’t possess these two attributes then you are simply an enabler and there’s nothing wrong with that unless you get the two terms confused in your own mind. Harnessing the power of initiative allows you to blow by your given expectations and enter into the realm of possibility.
“Initiative is the pass-key that open the door to opportunity”-Unknown
· Courage/Self-confidence – One must not be afraid to be great. Realizing that becoming the standard also means becoming a target for negativity with the likes of envy and jealousy. To some, the risk and weight of it all seems too great. For those who show courage/self-confidence (along with the ingredients of proper preparation), this risk is opportunity that seems surmountable.
“Remember that your only limitation is the one that you set in your own mind”.-Napoleon Hill
· People/Resources – Leaders are nothing without their people and resources. Every leader in history who has forgotten that has only been remembered because they’ve done so. There are many “leaders” who believe emulating the behaviors in which they seek from those they lead is cliché. Show me a leader with no moral compass, an unwillingness to serve, sacrifice or give respect; then I will show you an organization not worth the time it has left.
“Great results are not achieved by cold, passive, unresponsive soldiers. They don't go very far and they stop as soon as they can. Leadership not only demands but receives the willing, unhesitating, unfaltering obedience and loyalty of other men; and a devotion that will cause them, when the time comes, to follow their uncrowned king to hell and back again, if necessary.”- Major C. A. Bach
· Charisma/Influence – To inspire others to become or remain interested in your vision or your initiative (otherwise known as buy-in) you must create meaningful relationships, show great character, be enthusiastic, possess a pleasing personality, and be willing to walk your talk while helping others along the way that may fall short.
“Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It's about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers.” Robin S. Sharma
In closing, being a leader worth following is a commitment that requires accountability and transparency from and to all sides. Your vision must be clear and what you see and think must be accurate and based on facts. For instance, if you’re leading and you feel resistance, you’re issue may be lack of clarity, if there’s little to no engagement, there’s no emotional connection or passion, and your people problems may be situational or organizational problems. Leadership is also about creating the willingness in others for them to walk the journey with you. It’s having both the social and emotional intelligence necessary to serve others fairly, appropriately, and compassionately based on the person and not the scenario. In my opinion, the true measurement of your leadership can be found in the impact you’ve created.
Without courage we simply accumulate a collection of good ideas and regrets. Most of our missed opportunities would not have been missed, had we only been willing to push through our fear and embrace what could be. All of us feel fear, but here's the difference: eventually a true leader's need for progress overwhelms his reluctance to take a risk. He can live more easily with the prospects of having tried and failed, than not having tried at all. He knows that failure is an inevitable part of success. He also realizes that failure looks and feels completely different in the rear view mirror, than it does when it is staring at you through the windshield. The truth is, while the average person fears stepping out into a new opportunity, the true leader fears missing out on it. - Unknown