Leadership is a word that can have many definitions. “Leadership” sometimes can even have conflicting definitions. To be able to lead a team or an organization it is essential to understand the basics of leadership.
There are some you define a leader as “the boss!” If this is your definition of a leader then there is no need to read any further. Leadership is much deeper than one person taking on the role of a boss. In fact, true leadership is an involving of many people to carry out a particular task. Here are a few definitions of “leadership” to consider:
“Leadership is mobilizing others toward a goal shared by the leader and followers.” – Gary Wills
“Leadership is influence.” – J. Oswald Sanders
“Leadership is getting others to want to do something that you are convinced should be done.” - Vance Packard
What Makes a Leader? The Four C’s
When thinking of these definitions of leadership the questions arises: “What makes someone become a leader?” There are three basic character tracts of true leaders.
First, a leader has a sense of a “calling.” This “calling” urges the leader to pursue a particular task. This “calling” creates a focus on a task that is fueled by a strong urging to see something accomplished or created. Every true leader has a strong creative, almost artistic side to their character. It is almost like an enthusiastic little child who is given a clump of clay and told to create “something.” Every strong leader has a “calling” that they cannot help but share with other.
Second, a leader has “character.” The “character” of a strong leader is obvious. People do not have to guess or wonderful about a strong leader. The strong leader’s character is laid out for the world to see. No guess work here! The character of a strong leader is manifested through daily actions, speech, and overall behavior. Character is an absolute part of the “call.” A “calling” without “character” is obsolete. It has no purpose or value.
Third, a leader is “competent” in the task at hand. When someone possesses the skills of a strong leader it will be obvious in their abilities. Their skills will be noticed and receive attention from others. They will have the influence to inspire others. A true leader will naturally know how to direct the resources and energies of others to help carry out the task. A true leader knows that they are limited and cannot do it all. They know how to delegate authority and give it away for others to use. The competency of a leader is shown in his or her trust of others and a willingness to share the responsibilities of the task at hand.
So, the basic make up of a true leader shows “calling”, “character”, and “competency.” One last point about a strong leader, they know how to “celebrate” victories. All work and no celebration will kill any accomplishment.