When you think of a leader, what is the first name that comes to your mind? Is it one of the famous politicians, an entrepreneur, or someone you know from everyday life? Leaders are individuals who have strong influence on other people and processes and who make things happen. So, why people do not usually relate the term “leader” with men and women who are not in the spotlight? Let us explore the leadership in life and business.
Leadership Skills in Real Life
I happen to know a lot of persons who lead by example. Being a leader in everyday life has its advantages, as well as downsides. These individuals are usually not widely recognized and have no records of accolades ascribed to their names. Many books have been written on this subject, while the topic itself is quite simple to understand.
A person is a leader if he or she inspires and supports others while sharing the same goal. A true leader leads. This means that a leader should be focused on what can be done, not ponder on the possible mistakes and inabilities. Additionally, a leader is the person who is able to recognize other people‘s abilities and use them as resources. This may sound to complicated, I know. Nevertheless, if you move the focus of your thinking from corporate frame to everyday life, you will see that leaders are among us.
A dedicated friend can be someone who inspires you. Friendships have that impact on people. We often find ourselves exploring the subjects we have never before thought of. Alternatively, friendships can be the driving force behind our efforts to achieve certain goals. Whether that driving force comes in a form of competitive spirit between friends or the simple need to show that we are good at something, to boast about, it is of less importance.
Parents can be magnificent leaders too. Their altruistic “job” is to be understanding and supportive. A parent should be able to foresee the obstacles and to teach the child how to circumnavigate them. Alternatively, a parent can lead a child‘s way through the obstacle and experience the storm together. Sometimes, it is necessary to learn through mistakes and a good leader knows that investing in such an experience pays off. Eventually, a skilled person is the one with a lot of “hands-on” escapades. Furthermore, the ultimate goal of a parent is to groom new leaders.
Old Vs. New
We hear the same phrases on daily basis: “Be pro-active, follow your dreams.” Although this is nice and we can agree with the essence of this message, we feel the need to question the means to achieve such goals. Call me old school, but “pro-active” is often mistakenly understood as “aggressive”. What great leaders do is rely on former authorities in their field and then explore if there is any room for improvement of their ideas and methods.
The technology has changed significantly, and it is still developing at incredible speeds. This makes our lives easier in a way. It puts technology in our hands as a means of achieving higher goals. However, human nature is not changing at the same speed as technology. Good leaders are aware of intellectual limits of people in their teams. Above all, being a leader does not necessarily mean that you should generate something new and revolutionary. The way we see it, leaders are the persons who do something meaningful and are able to transfer that drive and knowledge to others.
There are times when we should consult older and wiser. I have read recently that Bill Gates has learned the most important lesson in life from Warren Buffett. According to his own words, he learned what true friendship really is. And what an investment that is! To learn how to share the knowledge and inspire others while getting the same feedback. Obviously, this is how true leaders are made. Not everything is in fierce discipline, working by the book and building condescending attitude towards the world.
Do you know any good leaders?