Personal GEM #4 Leadership
Do not confuse popularity with leadership. Leaders are rarely popular. We elect our “leaders” by popular vote but that does not mean they are leaders. Exceptions to this are very rare, very rare. (Read
From Good to Great to learn about what makes real leaders. Jesus was not popoular but was the greatest leader Who ever lived.)
The first myth (and most important concept for you to understand) and one that needs to be dispelled is that leaders are popular. Our culture creates the perception that popularity translates to leadership. Not true. Leaders are not popular, there are exceptions. However, since in the democratic process, we elect and chose our "leaders" by popular vote, the perception is that one must be popular to be a "leader." Wrong! For the most part, leaders are not popular but they are admired and respected, and often humble. (Be sure to read Good To Great by Jim Collins. Consider Jesus. He was the greatest leader that ever lived. He gave His life for those whom He loved.
The second myth is that “leadership is a rare skill” While great leaders may be rare, everyone has some leadership potential. Indeed, there are literally millions of leadership roles throughout the country, which are now being adequately fulfilled by those without outstanding leadership abilities. Leadership opportunities are plentiful and within the reach of most people.
The third myth is that “leaders are born, not made”
- We can all learn the basics of leadership.
- Even those with outstanding leadership endowments can further enhance their leadership abilities through training.
- Though leadership can be learned, it is not easily mastered.
- There are “no simple formulas, no rigorous science, no cookbook” that leads to successful leadership.
- Instead, leadership is a deeply human process, full of trial and error, victories and defeats, timing and happenstance, intuition and insight
- Though some are born with leadership gifts, leadership is not exceptional, but the natural expression of the fully functional personality.
- The process of becoming a leader is much the same as becoming an integrated human being. In others words, the potential ability to lead is in some sense bestowed upon us all.
The fourth myth is that all “leaders are charismatic”
- Though some do have extraordinary capacities to attract people to themselves and their causes, most leaders do not possess such abilities.
- In fact, the charisma that prominent leaders exercise is probably the result of effective leadership, not the cause of it.
- Those who are good at leadership are by that success granted a certain amount of respect and awe that elevate the leader in the eyes of the followers.
In my opinion, John Maxwell has authored the best books on leadership. These and more plus audio tapes.
- Developing the Leader Within You
- Laws of Leadership
Ken Blanchard has two books I recommend:
- Lead Like Jesus
- Leadership By the Book