In today’s world of virtual realities, drive-through philosophies and fake news, many of our political, educational and religious institutions are suffering from a lack of Leadership; and more tragically, Authentic Leadership. Across the globe, we see far too many cases of coercion, intimidation and manipulation masquerading as Leadership.
So, what is Leadership? Simply put, it is the art of inspiring others, and ourselves, to pursue a particular path or to get things done. We include self in this definition because personal Leadership is an essential prerequisite for personal success and for leading others. Leadership can be formal or informal – that is, it can be derived from formal authority or naturally cultivated in informal settings. In either case, it is essential that Leaders walk the talk, model the way, and do what they say. Authentic Leaders are generally not easily deterred and are more likely to follow through on commitments based on a set of solid convictions and a compelling ‘why’.
Leadeship should not be confused with management, although they often go hand in hand. Management is a science; therefore, successful managers can usually follow a pre-set formula to be successful. Their activities typically include scheduling, coordinating, monitoring, measuring, reporting and so on. While strong interpersonal relationships are important for managers, they are critical for those who aspire to Lead.
Effective Leaders must inspire and influence the people they wish to Lead. They must effectively sell their ideas and invite others to follow along. No doubt, each reader already knows there are many different Leadership styles. Interestingly, there are even servant Leaders. In all cases, aspiring Leaders should cultivate the essentials for Leadership success – trust, transparency, clarity of vision and tenacity.