What is Leadership? Can it be taught? Can it be learned? Leadership, in my eyes, is relative to the direction you personally want to go. Those who are true Leaders, in the sense they may not hold authority or a position of power, are those you strive to emulate. You will always look to multiple influences and seek many mentors. One single person does not have all the traits you seek to increase your own abilities or eliminate your weaknesses. To seek just one to look to for Leadership will be near impossible to do.
True Leaders are natural Leaders. Their values, character, traits, and ethos are just who there are. Sure, they may have experienced some events in their lives or even learned some tips from a class, but they were developed because of a perspicacity to the world around them. Every interaction, every fire run, every time a situation transpired, they took something of value from it. A week long seminar or a 2 hour training does not make you a Leader, putting some best practices to work help you develop your quality.
“Be the kind of Leader that you would follow.”
This entry is not about me telling you how to be a Leader. It is not even to discuss what bad leaders do. I can only put into words what traits and qualities in Leaders that I look up to.
- Take the time to tell me how I can improve.
- Do not do the work for me, but advise when needed so I can learn the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat.
- Give me the tools to be successful until I have tools of my own.
- Hold me Accountable.
- Ask me for progress reports. Do not go behind my back when working with others on a task.
- Give me more responsibility as I show I can handle the work.
- When we set our goals, stick to our benchmarks.
- Support our mission by allowing me to do my job.
- Support me by holding others to the mission.
- Praise is important but revealing shortcomings will make me better.
- Be true to your words, I will be true to mine.
- Support the line and the line will support you.
- Good Leaders develop Great Leaders!
No matter what profession you are in, many of these traits apply. In fact many of these apply to everyday life. Very few people want to do poor work; Leaders have the ambition to empower those people to do great work.