A leader is a person who guides other people to reach their goals. A true leader creates an inspiring vision of the future motivating people to achieve a common goal. He builds a team inspired to achieve that vision.
Today the term leadership is used a lot but most of the time we mean boss, not leader. This is especially true for political leaders.
The vast majority of people are stuck at the first level of leadership. This is the position of authority and, however, doesn’t make you a true leader.
The first level is just where the journey begins. You have a position, a title, you are the supervisor, you are the boss.
People follow you because they have to, because they get paid for the job. But they will give you the least amount of their time, energy and effort.
True leadership is much more than just being a boss. People follow a leader because they want to.
A connection is established with every people of the team. And then a leader starts to produce results for the people.
Not only that, he develops people, he equips them to be successful. People itself become productive as well.
They build other leaders. This compounded effect is the foundation to increase the capacity of the entire team to accomplish goals.
A leader believes in people, he encourages people to do more, to be more; he challenges them to aim high, to think big, to transform the world.
A leader sets the direction and help to correct the trajectory when people end up off road.
He doesn’t need authority because he depends on goodwill by making work interesting and giving inspiration.
He doesn’t demand respect because he evokes enthusiasm and earns respect.
Finally he doesn’t take credit, he gives credit to the team, he shares the merits.
Boss and managers follow existing roads.
But leaders are different.
They don’t go where the path may lead. They go where there’s no path and they leave a trail.
There’s one single question you can ask yourself to understand if you are a true leader: “If my position, title or formal authority were removed, would people that I’m leading still gladly follow me?”
If the answer is yes, then you have earned the respect of the people you lead. You share the same vision and fight for a cause worth fighting for.
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The rebels. The troublemakers. The ones who see things differently. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do”.
Apple Inc. Commercial