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 Success in life is more than just saying the right things, it is also doing the right things. My Blog is a healthy blend of what to think and what to do when faced with challenges. It is all about discovering your true potential.

 

Leadership is personal

 Sister Theresa, Terry Fox, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Christopher Columbus, Jesus, Galileo, Pierre Trudeau, Moses. What did these people have in common? They all dared to make a difference, no matter the circumstances. As you consider the subject, you undoubtedly can think of many more people in your daily dealings that have made a difference for you as well. For you it was probably a high school teacher, a pastor, a neighbour, a co-worker, a boss, a mentor, a friend or a parent.

 

You don’t have to run a General Electric, or a Chrysler, or be a Prime Minister or President to be an extraordinary leader, you just have to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, a passion to see it through and the abilities and skills to win alignment from the people, then, to communicate this story in an effective and compelling way.  Many people talk about what they would do if they were placed in a leadership position, and when they find themselves holding the reins of that position, they crumble like a house of cards.  Truly effective leaders are not big on bragging and saying what they would do if given the chance, they are people of action who believe that actions and results speak much louder than words.  After all, the only evidence that we have to confirm or deny that we are effective leaders is the level of action that we take when given the chance.  Not our intentions, but our actions determine our worth as a leader.

 Great leaders don’t focus on what they can’t do.  They don’t make excuses for why things don’t work out right, they know that to receive or achieve a goal they must make themselves accountable for the results first, and then have the skills necessary to get the people involved as excited about the project as they themselves are.  While yes, leadership is a personal style, the most important quality of any great leader is discipline.  They realize that feeling sorry for themselves is a wasted emotion, instead they focus on action.

 Leadership is such a personal thing with all people.  What we read in the paper and see in the news really only scratches the surface of the depth of the amount of extraordinary leadership that is in every culture and organization.  In trying to define just what leadership is, I have discovered that leadership is a reflection of the person’s values, beliefs and actions.  There are, however, certain qualities that are inherent in effective leadership that all effective leaders possess.  They are:

  • Self Confidence:  The ability to make difficult decisions and make them stick.
  • Enthusiasm: The ability to maintain a high level of energy and focus. 
  • Motivational abilities: An ability to rally the team and have them follow willingly. 
  • Clear Vision: has a clear picture of what’s possible and gets alignment from all teams involved.
  • Follow-up: can keep people accountable. 
  • People skills:  able to make people feel like they are a part of the team and does it sincerely. 
  • Communications: Can deliver a message clearly and effectively, able to see other points of view.
  • Passion: Nothing worthwhile can ever be realized without a certain elevated level of passion… it is the fuel for success.

  Recognizing that indeed, yes, leadership is personal, and there are so many people that I have met that I would call extraordinary leaders.  People like JoeFiander, VP of Sobeys, whose personal style of leadership is a no nonsense "let’s get this done together" kind of leadership that people really connect with and want to support.  Or TracyBranch, Human Relations Manager for the City Of Bathurst who has a wonderful gift of being able to communicate the vision so that everyone sees the same picture as him and he has an ability to generate the enthusiasm needed to reach the goal.  Of course, these are only two of the many extraordinary leaders that I have had the privilege to work with over the years, there are many more people who could make the top leadership list as well.

 This week, whatever kind of leader you are or hope to be, instead of trying to re-invent the leadership wheel, why not look at and study the people that you consider to be good leaders and then take what you want and meld it into your own personality so that you can create your own blend of leadership.  After all, Leadership IS personal, so give it your touch and see what happens!

Paul

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