Often we find people who are in positions of leadership and, to them, it is no more than just that, a position. Yet there are many effective leaders in our world today who lead from an authentic desire to bring forth the best from those they lead. They are in the game to achieve more than simply the goals set in front of them. These are the leaders worth following.
So what specific traits are characteristic of leadership of this nature? Three key traits separate leaders whom people earnestly follow with passion from the rest of the crowd: vision, willingness to serve and, last but certainly not the least, commitment.
One key to being an effective leader is the ability to see the unseen. Webster’s Dictionary defines vision as “the power of seeing; foresight; and having imagination”. A good leader sees a vision of where he intends to lead and, equally important to this, he is competent to communicate the vision in an enticing manner to those he leads.
Willingness to serve
The willingness to serve is often overlooked as a very important characteristic of leadership. It is common to think of a servant as being below a leader in the pecking order, yet it truly is not so.
If we simply think of a servant in terms of enslavement, there is certainly no appeal in the concept of serving, especially to someone who is fully capable of leading. But if we understand that a servant works for, and strives to meet the needs of someone or something, it becomes clear that service is very much a characteristic of leadership. A leader who is able to meet the needs of his skilled followers and seeks to lead by serving them, has a much stronger, more dedicated and, consequently, more effective team pursuing the vision ahead of them.
A good leader is committed to the vision and to those he serves. This is truly where the rubber meets the road. The good example a leader sets is what inspires his followers to put their full effort into the tasks at hand and remain dedicated to the project. Ultimately, this is what separates a blooming success from an utter failure.
All efforts a leader puts forth can be seen as sacrifices towards a goal he deems as being worthy. Simply put, the greater the sacrifice a leader is willing to make, the greater the sacrifice he will draw from those who look to him for leadership.
When these traits of leadership are present in one individual, and that individual continually works to grow his skills in these areas, the result is a powerful and effective leader! The kind of leader that one is proud to follow!
Ask yourself: Do I desire to be a powerful and effective leader, and am I willing to take the steps required to attain that desire? If so, now is a good time to start.