Leadership isn’t about being a good person or having good values. It’s about finding a common connection in people and using it to bring them together and unite them as one. I’ve always been fascinated by great leaders and how they can lead people by inspiration to do things they would’ve otherwise declared impossible.
For some, leadership might mean helping people find their weaknesses, and guiding them to self improvement. And others might prefer identify the strengths of people and help them apply their strengths. Personally I prefer the route of identifying strengths, instead of telling someone they aren’t good at something, you help them identify what they are good at. You show them how to find a deeper appreciation for who they are and inspire them to use those values and skills. Because nothing is more powerful than leading a group of people who fully embrace who they are. Albert Einstein once said “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” I find this particularly interesting because it reinforces that you don’t have to be “book smart” to identify as intelligent.
True leaders don’t only get people to follow, but inspire them to truly believe in their message. During a workshop we had with Ian Mcneil said that a good public speaker is “consumed by the topic they’re speaking about”. I think this form of statement can also apply to leaders. A good leader will be consumed by the domain in which they are leading. I think the greatest form of leadership is by inspiration. When you’re consumed by something you believe in it’s much easier to convey your message by inspiring those around you.
As stated in TheBalance article linked below: “Talking to people about your passion is not enough. To “share meaning” – my definition of communication – you must allow the ideas and thoughts of your staff to help form the vision and mission, or minimally, the goals and action plan.” As a leader you must listen to your followers and understand their stance on things because this allows you to guide them better in the direction they want.
Why do I think that leading by inspiration is the most effective way? Because one of the key elements used in many articles such as the Entrepreneur.com article linked below is: “find the bright side of any issue”. Being able to find good in something and reinforcing that as a drive to get shit done is incredibly inspiring on it’s own. It’s also said that they must have a clear vision for the future, a clear goal. And that might sound stupidly simple, but it truly helps motivate people to work towards a clear goal.
A great leader listens to what people want, and builds a clear vision based on that feedback. Once that vision is in place you can start finding strengths in people and encouraging them to use those strengths in ways they might not have seen to move forward towards that vision. This is my vision of a leader that I would follow and like to one day be.