Saturday, August 18, 2012

Leadership is . . .

Leadership is a word that people often use but how many people really reflect on the meaning? Leadership is a concept I have been studying for some time. I have a passion for education and as such am passionate about school meeting the needs of our school kids. The problem is that for a long time in education, we've viewed leadership in regard to position not influence. The first time I read the book Developing the Leader Within You by John Maxwell, I experienced a moment of clarity as I learned that leadership is really influence. As I look at my own life and the people I am blessed to live life around, I notice some common themes emerging.
1. Leaders lead by example. I am blessed to work with some incredible leaders. Men and women who believe they should live the walk as well as talk about it. What we do speaks so much louder than what we say.
2. Leaders are committed to a cause greater than themselves. When we feel connected to a much greater cause, then we become passionate about the work and it shows.
3. Leaders are genuine. Real people working in real ways that show integrity.
4. Leaders are self-motivated. Because they are connected to a cause greater than themselves, then motivation comes naturally. Even if leaders have bad days (which we all do), they "fake it until they make it" knowing that others are looking to them.
5. Leaders don't quit. Sometimes it is so easy to give up on something. But true leaders pick themselves up and continue to move forward even after experiencing disappointments.
6. Leaders are others focused. When we do things for the benefit of others, then blessings naturally flow into our lives. "What we pour into the lives of others, comes back into our own."
I am sure there are many more characteristics that you can think of. What do you see from the lives of the leaders around you?



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