Philosophy / Leadership
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Autor: anton 22 October 2010
Words: 718 | Pages: 3
"The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership." Ð’â€“ Colin Powell, United States military leader and Secretary of State.
Leadership is much more of an art, a belief, a condition of the heart, than a set of things to do. The visible signs of artful leadership are expressed ultimately in its practice. It is the ability of influencing other people to cooperate towards some goals which they come to find desirable. Leadership is getting someone to do what they do not want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve Ð’â€“ a challenge to be something more than the average. It is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence by seeing how you react. If you are in control, they too are in control.
A leader should definitely know the changes that are happening to his followers, knowing that they absorbed the knowledge that you shared with them. Are the followers reaching their potential? Are they learning and serving? Are they achieving the required results? Are they changing significantly? Can they lead on their own? An outstanding leadership can be determined based on these observations. Also, one can measure one's leadership through the caliber of people who chose to follow him.
The function of leadership is to produce more leaders than followers. Lao Tzu once said, "To lead the people, walk behind them. A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. When the effective leader is finished with his work, the people say it happened naturally." It can be said therefore the leader's role to raise people's aspiration for what they can become and to encourage them to give their best. According to James Crook, "The man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd." A leader is humble but in a way that his actions are kept organized. To be a leader, you have to make people want to follow you for nobody wants to follow someone who do not know where he is going. As Abraham Lincoln said, "Whatever you do, be a good one." You do not have to be an expert to lead; however, you do have to be human. When you bring humanity to your effort, you come to your team with open eyes, mind and heart. From this openness grows creativity, innovation, success of others, and ultimately, your success as an effective leader. Above all, the art of leadership is saying no, instead of saying an easy yes.
Leadership is the ability to use the power wisely, and the capacity to translate an intention into reality and sustain it. In effect, the followers benefits from true leadership and not to the enrichment of the leaders. Faye Wattleton says that "The only safe ship in a storm is leadership," because leadership is based on inspiration, not domination; on cooperation, and not intimidation. Leadership is an action, not a position; an act of voluntarism rather than dictatorship. It cannot really be taught, for it can only be learned. People often connect leadership with management. But management is doing the things right while leadership is doing the right things. It is true that if you are a good leader, you are a good manager but it does not necessarily mean that if you are a good manager, you are a good leader.
All of us can be leaders. From the time that we learn something from others until the moment that we know how to do it ourselves, we learn to be more confident and responsible enough to face the future. But that is not the end of it because leadership is a process of learning, wherein we will continually acquire knowledge and ideas that experiences will teach us. In the words of Warren Bennis, "The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born Ð’â€“ that there is genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That's nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born."
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