Unlike the popular belief, the phrase “born as a leader” somehow does not fit into what some leaders had to say about leadership. When Warren Bennis interviewed great leaders, they all agreed, “Leaders are made, not born, and made more by themselves than by any external means.” John C. Maxwell, a leadership master said, “The true measure of leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less.” This indeed sheds some light on the real essence of leadership. Sadly most CEOs, heads of an institution or a nation are only a ‘boss’ or a person who misuses the power and authority invested upon them. But now, let’s take a look at what makes a ‘leader’ a true ‘leader’:
The MINDSET of A Leader
Many people are sitting on side-lines today because they are magnifying their excuses – “I am not talented; I don’t have what it takes; What if I try but fail?” History has proved it time and over again that it’s not the temperament or character trait that determines a leader`s success but, rather, it’s their mind that limits them. Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent.”
The world has seen a leash of business tycoons, political figures and sport stars who have reached great heights in-spite of their small beginnings. Some of the key characteristic mind-sets of these figures were:
- HUMILITY: The most important character of a leader is to stay humble, learn from others, and serve them and to grow along with the team. The leader must swallow his pride and take any step to ensure the advancement of the team. It involves setting aside his ego and setting the goals of the team or others as his utmost priority.
- TAKING RESPONSIBILITIES FOR FAILURES: One of the most striking examples is of one of the Presidents of the USA. Yielding to the advice of one of his advisors, he took up a big initiative. But, soon it resulted in a great loss hence had to combat and restore the whole thing. During the press meet to explain the matter to the nation, he took the responsibility for the whole issue instead of putting the ball on the advisor`s court.
- FOLLOWING DREAMS: The founder of the world-renowned magazine Readers Digest, DeWittWallace had a dream of creating a magazine with articles on a wide variety of subjects, compressed so that each could be easily read and could be carried around. But, there were many critics who mocked at his idea. But, when he followed his vision, he was able to have the final laugh!
- QUIT YOUR EXCUSES: Caleb Mc Duff was deaf from the age of two. But, instead of settling for the worst, he was determined to overlook the weakness and pursue his dream in racing and has now reached a great altitude in his racing career.
- TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE DISADVANTAGE: The founder of Apple, Steve Jobs was thrown out of his own company. But, instead of feeling bitter and discouraged, he used it as an advantage to research more and hence found some new solutions. This led to Apple calling him back and hereby letting him get a better status.
Therefore, I would say, we have a lot to learn from these leaders. Life didn’t deal differently with them. They responded differently to life! A slight change in their attitude, perspective, method and character allowed them to go beyond barriers!