Every one of us is a leader in our own right. Before you can lead someone else, a group, or an organization, you must be able to lead yourself. That means decisiveness, dedication, determination, discipline, self-actualization, sense of purpose, and humility. True leadership is not about superiority, position, or prestige. It’s about revealing and releasing the potential of those around us. Leadership is not about the power of one, but facilitating the greatness of many. Hence true leadership cannot be awarded, appointed, or assigned. It comes only from influence, and that cannot be mandated. It must be earned. I have been in positions of leadership since 20plus years, some lessons I learned the hard way, through trial and error followed by the humility that comes from overcoming those mistakes. The best leadership book I have ever read is the Bible. Other lessons I learned through observing those I esteemed to be great leaders whose example I sought to follow. Without question the Jesus of Nazareth was one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known and he frequently led by example. Jesus said several times, “Come, follow me.” His was a program of “do what I do,” rather than “do what I say.” Needless to say, the common man can learn an enduring leadership principles from the greatest leader who ever lived. Through it all I found several attributes that I think are necessary for a true leader: Here are some of the most important ways to lead like Jesus did, and perhaps create your own legacy of greatness that will last long after you’re gone.
1. Purpose and Vision
Great leaders have Vision &Purpose … They can see into the future. Leaders discover a purpose and create a vision, articulate the vision passionately, and relentlessly drive it to completion. In our secular society, we tend to think of a leader as a person who is well-connected, who is powerful or charismatic or wealthy. We judge our leaders by what they have. But a true leader should be judged by what he has not — ego, pride, arrogance, and self-interest. A true leader has Vision and Purpose and sees his work as selfless service toward a higher purpose.
This is why the great leaders could articulate a vision so clear it seemed as though it had already come to pass. The purpose and vision of a true leader shall be to elevate mankind’s trust, and to fill the world with goodness. Great leaders focus on the big picture and can describe that picture to their colleagues, subordinates, partners, and followers. Generally, very few people know what they want, much less how to get there, so they will gravitate towards those who appear to have a clear picture in mind–good clarity leads to great achievement.
Leaders are inherently selfless and hardworking. They are driven by their conviction and purpose and resonates the passion in their vision statements. I believe that a great leader knows the “why” behind the “what” that they are doing. They also have the ability to help other people catch the vision of the “why” so they can accomplish the “what”. Leadership is action. The vision is the articulation of the action to get to where the group needs to go. The vision should be well defined and effectively communicated. Leadership success always starts with vision and purpose.
2. Principles and Values
Leaders are defined by their inner strengths and convictions, not the outer portrayal of who they are. Your character will determine your level of leadership and your legacy. Living on principle is one essential that will help you lead well and finish well. There are seven elements of being a principled leader: decisiveness, dedication, determination, discipline, vision, virtues, and integrity. Practice the art of these principles and establish an accountability system to help keep you grounded.
The value of integrity as a foundational leadership virtue is inestimable. When you say what you mean and mean what you say, people will trust you implicitly and generally respond in kind. As a leader, it’s important to raise the bar high by personally modeling a standard of truthfulness that demonstrates your deepest morals and values mirror your organizations mission. Never passing the buck: If you are — or want to be — a leader, you must always remember that there is no passing the buck. When final decisions have to be made, they must be made with confidence, clarity, and decisiveness. Never passing the buck: If you are — or want to be — a leader, you must always remember that there is no passing the buck. When final decisions have to be made, they must be made with confidence, clarity, and decisiveness.
3. Persistence and Passion
Good leaders are extremely persistent people. They have absolute confidence and belief in themselves and they never let rejections or any obstacles for that matter slow them down. If you research any of their stories you will see that this is a trait they unilaterally all share. Leaders believe that what they do is important and purposeful. The belief is the conviction that drives the leader’s Passion. The conviction is communicated in the vision and nearly every statement of the leader. There’s nothing more inspirational than seeing someone who cares about what they do–the best leaders exhibit boundless energy and passion for what they do.
People want to work with leaders who truly care about the work they’re doing and wholeheartedly believe they are making a positive difference in the world. You must lead by example and obtain management skills that inspire others to join you in building a great community. A Leader job is to maintain a positive environment and continue leading your team with passion and enthusiasm. Good leaders have a passion for the work they do and feel it is important. Being Persistence shows commitment, a quality very high in demand for a great leader. Sharing that passion and enthusiasm with followers can help you motivate your people to become more productive. Praising your people when they do a good job can be a natural extension of passion. If you dream of becoming a true leader, then you’ve got to find what you love to do. If you don’t, you’ll never have the tenacity and fortitude to stick with it through all the tough times ahead.
4. Professional Standards and Communication Skills
Good leaders model and uphold high ethical standards and practices at all levels of an organization. Good leaders are also great communicators. They clearly communicate expectations through policies and procedures that promote ethical behavior. Good leaders are creative and support continuous growth in themselves and others and encourage continuous process improvement. Perhaps most important are the courage to take risks, make difficult decisions and accept accountability for their actions and those who report to them. Standing at the front of the parade doesn’t make someone a leader. That only happens if others follow behind, and most people don’t want to follow someone unless they’re sure the leader knows the way.
Strong leaders know how to communicate effectively with staff at both higher and lower levels in the organization Understanding how to clearly explain tasks and projects to staff while communicating the importance of your department’s work to administrators is a crucial skill that takes practice. Good communicators keep staff informed when changes or updates to projects occur, are readily available to staff and hold regular meetings to ensure that all team members are aware of the status of projects. Great leaders use listening, speaking, writing and keep communication open, honest and genuine at all levels of the organization. They communicate a mission, vision and values and share information often, openly, clearly and with confidence and passion. Their messages convey integrity and honesty, and they consistently convey an attitude of dignity and respect for all individuals, instilling trust among their followers in their ability to lead with the best interests of the individual in mind. They inspire a spirit of teamwork and collaboration and communicate the importance of diversity, innovation and shared outcomes.
5. Positive Attitude and Creativity
Leadership is the capacity to influence and inspire others motivated by a vision, generated by a passion, produced by a belief and created by a purpose. If you want to keep your team motivated towards the continued success of the group and keeps the energy levels up be positive and creative. Whether that means providing motivation, advice, or even just an occasional celebration in the office, remember that everyone on your team is a person. Keep the office mood a fine balance between productivity and liveliness. If your attitude and creativity inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
Some decisions will not always be so easy. You may be forced at times to deviate from your set course and make an on the fly decision. This is where your creativity will prove to be vital. It is during these critical situations that your team will look to you for guidance and you may be forced to make a quick decision. As a leader, it’s important to learn to think outside the box and to choose the best option.
6. People skills and Strategic Thinking
To be an effective leader, you need a combination of people skills and Strategic thinking. Good leaders understand and stay focused on where an organization is headed and are committed to its long-term success and the success of everyone involved. Good leaders align their activities to a clearly defined mission and vision and make strategic decisions based on sound data and proven practices. They understand the culture and demographics of an organization and external influences — such as politics, economics, legislation, the marketplace and the community — and their potential impact on
Good leaders are happy to see others thrive, they feel they are part of that success, and that’s why they work to help them grow and develop. They care about the people around them and want the best for them because that has an effect on the team. Good leaders always tend to look ahead and look for the next step. They are never satisfied with the “status quo” of things and are constantly trying to improve the world around them. They leave work each day while thinking what can be done even better tomorrow. Smarts may not be everything, but I’ve never known a successful leader who lacked intelligence, critical-thinking skills, and a genuine thirst for knowledge. Great leaders are outstanding at Strategic planning. It’s another one of the more important leadership strengths. They have the ability to look ahead, to anticipate with some accuracy.
Good leaders understand that success isn’t possible without the help of people. They have a clear, exciting plan of where they are going and what they are trying to accomplish and are excellent at strategic planning. Providing ample training opportunities for your people and expressing your confidence in their work let them know that you are interested in them. Leaders who are committed to their teams try to ensure that all employees are treated equally and that preferential treatment is not given to a particular employee or employees. Encouraging a cooperative atmosphere and group problem solving will help you ensure that your department completes tasks on time without personal conflicts. Asking for input from employees regarding departmental functions and procedures can help them feel that they are an important part of your team.