Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What Is A Leader?

What is a leader? A question that can bring a miriade of answers. But in this forum, you're going to get mine. A leader is someone who influences others lives. A leader can help you grow by exploring new capabilities and strengths. A leader builds people.

One of the jobs of a leader is to be a guide - guide teams from formation through operation. For that, he/she also must be a mentor and facilitator. You must understand that learning never ends. We are always building and strengthening our knowledge. As a leader you have to be constantly alert to any opportunity you have to do so.

To be an excellent leader means you have the ability to "read" people. How do people react differently to various situations? The ability to be flexible helps you in dealing with and relating to people. We're not all the same - other people won't want the same type of response that you might.

In John Maxwell's book Developing the Leader Within You, he lists seven "deadly sins" that excellent leaders avoid:
  • trying to be liked rather than respected,

  • not asking team members for advice and help,

  • thwarting personal talent by emphasizing rules rather than skills,

  • not keeping criticism constructive,

  • not developing a sense of responsibility in team members,

  • treating everyone the same way, and

  • failing to keep people informed.
Integrity, vision, optimism, responsibility, motivation, and communication. That's what makes a successful leader.

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