Let us dive in and take a quick look at leadership attributes, is it even possible to take a quick look at leadership? In my honest opinion, the answer to that question would be a definite “NO”. While considering which approach should be taken to write an informative BLOG regarding leadership one apparent discovery was; there are far too many rabbit holes available for one to travel down while speaking on leadership and what defines good/proper/successful leadership. I find myself asking questions such as what defines a good leader. What qualities do all effective leaders possess? Is there a common bond that all successful leaders share, a common thought process, is there a blueprint for leadership excellence? Can leadership even be taught, is there a minimum training time that allows for a productive leader to be molded, or are successful leaders just born that way?
I will address a few of these questions and try to offer some insight that may help you become an effective leader, or perhaps just sharpen your already obtained skills to enhance your leadership role within your organization. I will provide you with my thoughts regarding leadership, what makes a leader; mistakes commonly made by leaders, and how to correct them. My opinions, thoughts, 2 cents, or whatever you choose to call them are based on twenty-two years serving in the United States Army, 17 of those years were conducted as a leader in some form or fashion. To say 22 years in the Army made me an effective leader would not be completely true. A father of three, a husband, a manager in the corporate world, a failure, a son, a friend, a Christian, and a follower are all items that have aided in the overall success I have experienced as a leader.
Let me be very clear, I am not, a natural-born leader or anything else, nor do I believe that the thought of being naturally born “anything” is possible. Take a minute and think of that statement, NATURAL BORN, we have all heard someone say that in the past. If this were the case, would you ever need a mentor, a coach, and a lesson, a challenge for your growth? Certainly not a possibility, in my opinion, we learn from others, we learn from success, and from failure, we should have a mentor in our field that has an impact regarding our styles, situational approach, and ability. Natural born means you do not need to learn anything else to be better, I just do not buy that, especially when it comes to being a leader. If you refer back to the things which contributed to my leadership abilities you will see I wrote the word FAILURE in there, natural-born would also imply without failure in my opinion. With the easy question answered now, let’s take a look at a few others mentioned above.
The definition of “LEADERSHIP”: the act of leading a group of people or an organization. Pretty self-explanatory, simple and plainly put correct? The Army’s definition of Leadership is; the ability to influence others to accomplish a task by providing DIRECTION, PURPOSE, and MOTIVATION. I like this one, this one fits, it speaks easy, but it requires more… It calls for the leader to dissect the goal, to ask a question such as “Can I provide a direction, a purpose and how in the world do I motivate others to do this”? It requires the leader to clearly see the overall mission, the specific and implied task associated with it, the need for task completion and success. It eliminates the need or desire to say “BECAUSE I AM THE BOSS, THAT IS WHY”…… This definition is so much more for the leader, it allows the leader to look closely and create a clear and concise plan for success. As we jump into this definition, you should be able to apply it to each and every aspect of your daily duties and responsibilities as a leader, in the end, I hope this will allow you to hone your skills, adapt new ones, and enhance the overall success of your team and organization.
Over the next several weeks we will look more and more into the definition of Leadership, what goes into effective leadership, misconceptions, mistakes made, and many more things regarding the topic. I will share a few experiences, both good a bad that has shaped my abilities as a leader. I invite you to think about “Direction, Purpose, and Motivation” during the next few days while making decisions, delegating a task, and leading your staff. I also invite you to think about that definition while evaluating the performance of your staff, utilizing the definition may help you to understand why a task was successful or a failure.