What does it mean to be a leader?



30 May 2019 0 comments

Leadership is an interesting concept and one that is quite often misunderstood. The stereotypical or cliché idea of being a leader is someone who is alpha, macho, a man and often the CEO of a big corporation. In reality, being a leader is often the complete opposite; it’s empathetic, it’s caring, it’s eating last (as coined by Simon Sinek in his book ‘Leaders eat last.’)

The old model of leadership is dying, employees are people, not employees. In companies, it’s easy to treat people just as numbers rather than human beings with values, desires, goals, friends, cultures and families. We often don’t take a genuine interest in people’s lives and well-being.

Counter to this point takes a look at the military. The military is comprised of people who treat one another as brothers and sisters. We are playing a high-stakes game, so I care about your well-being and how you are coping on this journey.

Leaders have empathy.

A vision designed by consensus, this is another important aspect of being a leader. You bring people together from all parts of society with different cultural backgrounds and mould them all into one common belief; you share you’re why. A why powerful enough to build communities and make people believe in something bigger than themselves.

Leadership is about going first into unknown territory and developing a strategy and plan to come out on top. Management is looking through the forest, leadership is about climbing the tree and looking over the whole landscape. Then choosing the direction.

A leader is a role model not just in the company but also in their personal lives, they lead themselves. If a leader isn’t disciplined or focused in their own lives it’s not possible to lead other people in the best possible way.

More importantly than any of this though is the idea that the leader changes reality for the better. He or she makes the world a better place, they are the change they want to see in the world because they have conquered themselves.

Leadership isn’t about the conquest for power or dominating by force that’s an old antiquated model of what it means to be a leader, a leader is a master of himself.

–    Jack Parsons (CEO of the Big Youth Group)

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