- Leadership is not for sissies.
- Leadership is not about you.
- Leadership has a price.
Let’s diagnose each of these requirements.
Leadership is not for sissies – To be an authentic leader takes courage. This courage is realized in many ways. Sometimes it is the courage to do what you don’t want to do, to do the hardest task first. Sometimes it is to make the hard decision, the one no one else wants to make. Sometimes it is to take the heat when things go wrong. Sometimes it is to confront a mistake or bad situation in real time. Sometimes you have to admit to your mistake and provide a sincere mea culpa.
All of these actions take courage.
Leadership is not about you – Sure you can order people, you can use command and control, but the most effective leadership is when you create a climate that others want to be part of, to take action. Leadership is often more about influence than power. Leadership is not a selfish endeavor but an effort to serve those who report to you. You meet their needs, wants and desires and they will attain your goals.
Leadership is about serving others.
Leadership has a price – The phrase, “it is lonely at the top” is true. Sure there are well-meaning people to consult with and obstacles to overcome, but the real price is found when you set you ego aside and do what is in the best interest of the many. As a Marine in the field leadership always eats last in case the food supply runs short. As a leader, you must step into the void and make decisions that present significant personal and professional risk.
These are the price of leadership.
As an aspiring or seasoned leader, these three points your mantra and loyalty, commitment and respect will follow.