Leadership is the human ability to enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task.
If we revisit the trajectory of the greatest leaders of all times, we will find that all of them had three elements in common:
- They emerged during a period of conflict or uncertainty.
- They understood the unescapable need for change.
- They had a clear vision about what needed to change and how to make change happen.
They also shared three key strengths:
- Remarkable charisma.
- Exceptional communication skills.
- Surprising awareness of what people was claiming for.
But over the course of their respective leadership periods, some of them decided to focus on satisfying their insatiable need for power, leading the entire humanity to remember them as the worst tyrants in world´s history:
- Atila The Hun
- Vladimir Lennin
- Saddam Husein
While some others stood up to defend the rights of the disadvantaged, putting the necessity to fulfill other people´s needs before their own interest. That´s why they became the most admired leaders in history:
- Nelson Mandela
- Martin Luther King
- Mahatma Ghandi
- Abraham Lincoln
Just to mention a few.
So we can conclude that if you want to become a leader, you need to:
- Bring hope to those around you during periods of conflict or uncertainty.
- Understand the need for change and improvement.
- Have a vision about the necessary change and how to make it happen.
- Be charismatic.
- Communicate clearly and passionately.
- Be well aware of the changes others are claiming for.
These are the six key elements that will take you to a leading role. The more boxes you tick off in the list above, the more likely you are to become a great leader.
But if you want to become an admired leader, you must put people´s needs first.
There is one element that can make you be seen either as a tyrant or as an admirable leader, and it is whether you put your own interest before people´s interest or vice versa.
So if you want to become a well-respected and admirable leader you have two choices:
- Make sure you put your follower’s needs first.
- Make sure your interest is also the interest of your followers.
As I highlighted in some of my previous posts, power and authority are very addictive and can make us forget about what true leadership means. Do not allow your title to turn you into a tyrant.
Don´t forget Humans follow those who help them fulfill their needs, and admire those who are compassionate with other human beings.
I hope you enjoyed the reading. If so, don´t forget to click on “Like” and share it with others who may find it useful.
You may also like to read my recent posts on Linkedin.
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- The Broken Bridge.
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Jordi is the Managing Principal Consultant at Key SChain Solutions, a management consulting firm specializing in Leadership Coaching, Organizational Strategy, Portfolio Management and Operational Excellence.