Being a Good Leader
In the UK the last few months have been occupied by the Scottish independence debate. If I am completely honest I am not at all interested in politics, but I did follow this particular issue closely, not because of the subject, but to study each political leader .
I have never viewed any of the party leaders as leaders of men, despite their titles and having watched recent events, my opinion has not changed. None are people that inspire me in any way, and do not feel convincing at all. Obviously they all have the title of party leader , but does that make them a real leader ?
In the work place I see similar issues. Many people that are in the position of manager that cannot manage people. This role too requiring leadership qualities. For most of us we look for different things from a leader, but there is certainly something that sets a leader apart from many people.
Why is it that some of us develop into natural leaders and others don’t? Are the characteristics required, naturally in us all, and some develop and others don’t? What is it about our personality that inspires others to follow us or not? Do we learn to become leaders or is it in us already?
Just because you have been doing something well, and for a long time, doesn’t mean that you will be a good manager. I have seen people promoted into management roles, with no understanding of how to motivate their team. In many cases I don’t see that improve, despite training. It feels that leadership skills are something we seem to develop naturally or not.
Even in social settings, you will very quickly recognise people who have leadership qualities, people who by their actions or words will take your attention and encourage you into their circle. Naturally we are all motivated by different qualities, but for me one of the most important of these is confidence.
A leader isn’t distinguished by a badge or job title, but as a person. Something sets them apart from the norm, naturally. We will all require different things from our leaders; therefore it is difficult to please everyone, but I feel that person will have numerous key parts to their personality that will please most people.
When I look into football, I find managers who are good at one club and not so at others. Does that mean that they lose their skills or is it other factors? How they are perceived by a new group of players is often key, and in the modern day game there is a quick turnover of players, so that relationships do not go stale with time.
After many years of thinking about this issue, I still have no conclusive answer, just a combination of factors, but the best description of a leader I have found is this one!
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” —John Maxwell