Thursday, February 21, 2013

On Serving and Leadership

What makes a leader a Great Leader? Diving deep into history one can find many examples of leaders. Quite a number of them were really good leaders of their people. Then there are some considered being the truly Great Leaders. The question arises whether there is a common denominator making a leader a Great Leader

Time and again when reading the Great Leaders in history I came across statements like this: “One must first and foremost serve in order to lead!” This important ingredient can be found in any Great Leader and it distinguishes them from the many others. It speaks loud and clear of the integrity of the leader. Great Leaders serve their people they lead, thus, people choose voluntarily to follow them and go, if necessary, through hell with them. 

How do they do that? They find a way to truly connect to people on a very deep level through empathy. They genuinely care about their people. They show respect to people, thus, winning their respect in return. They make people grow beyond their own expectations, making them aware of their true potential. As a leader, always remember: It’s not about you, it’s about them! 

“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.” - Douglas MacArthur

To me, it becomes very apparent that this is the type of leadership we need, but in most cases are lacking. This is the type of leadership fostering cocreation and collaboration. This is the type of leadership that can bring about the change we need in our organizations and society at large. 

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