Do we really want a strong leader?
I remember having a wonderful discussion with someone I had just met about this topic. During the course of our conversation we both agreed that we loved the subject of leadership, and we had throughout our lives had many strong leaders that we loved. And others not so much. And it was interesting that the ones we loved most, were the ones that asked the most of us. It was with those leaders we did some of the “hardest things” and experienced the most change…and thereby gained the most skills, competence and confidence.
I love these words from – Lewis H. Lapham = “Most of the ladies and gentlemen who mourn the passing of the nation’s leaders wouldn’t know a leader if they saw one. If they had the bad luck to come across a leader, they would find out that he might demand something from them, and this impertinence would put an abrupt and indignant end to their wish for his return.”
We say we want leaders. We cry out, “Where are the great leaders of today?” Yet it seems what many really want is someone to do the hard things for them.
Real leaders ask us to change. They push us to grow. They ask us to be or do more than we are currently being and doing.
Far too many who clamor for leadership really want someone to fix and change others while leaving them alone. After all, they reason, I’m not the problem.
A true leader will see more in me and believe more in me than I currently see and believe in myself. A true leader has enough faith in me to ask me to do hard things and who believes I can do great things.
Not only do I want to recognize real leaders, I want to become a real leader. If this is what I want then I must not only see real leaders, but I must seek them out. Doing this deliberately allows us to reach our full potential by the rare gift of their candid feedback, encouragement and insight.
So if you really want a stronger leader… then seek first to become the leader you would like to have. Download one of these images and stick somewhere to help remind you of your commitment to live and lead a better life. And to help others do the same…because that’s what leaders like me and you can do.
Very much in line with what you write, the one thing I have recognized with some of the best leaders is their humility. When achievements are made, they are the first to point out their team. However, when things go wrong, they are the first to step forward and accept responsibility.
Thank you for sharing this!