It is easy to talk about leadership. It has become a subject of study. Books have been written, seminars conducted, presentations videotaped, lectures recorded and podcast. There are no shortages of quotes on effective leadership. The attributes and skills, demeanor and aptitude tests that define what scholars believe makes a great leader lurk around every corner. In contrast, there is an echo chamber of biased and belligerent pundits, regularly showcasing their brand of leadership, veiled in an arrogant and sanctimonious self-assuredness. Regardless of how unauthentic it may be, it is still leadership.
Talking about leadership and it’s void has become a perpetual cliche. Yet with all this study, pontification and observation there is still the perception of an acute absence of something. Leaders. In their unquenchable desire to find role models and visionaries, most people have neglected looking in the one obvious place. Themselves. Great leaders are quoted and imitated, criticized and followed because it is easier to do so. Real leaders act, and people respond to action, good or bad.
Successful leaders, whether of the PTA, a major account, a large corporation or a country, envision things that do not yet exist. When they think about how to achieve their vision, they become infused with an infectious enthusiasm. The ideas consume them and give them a sense of purpose, of motivation, and of passion. True leaders acknowledge this, and relish the adventure.
Believe it or not, you are a leader. Either at home, or at work, on the playing field, or in the town hall; one of the many roles you play in your busy life is that of a leader. The question remains, are you considered an effective leader? It’s an vital role to play in at least some areas of your life, one you should perform with vigor. So study and read, listen and observe, and make sure you take the time to dream and to plan. Muster up your enthusiasm. Then, above all, commit and act.
Several times each day you are faced with a choice. Will you lead, or will you follow? Make the choice that is right for you. Don’t let it be made for you by others. And if you find you often choose the role as follower, do not complain about the lack of leadership.