LEADERSHIP: What it is … what it is NOT! Part ONE – The Intro – ONE.2 ~ The WHAT


LEADERSHIP: What it is … what it is NOT!          


PART ONE – The Intro –

1. Why / 2. What / 3. So What / 4. Now What




Note: This blog is the second section of PART ONE – The Intro … ONE.2 – The WHAT.  Please read the first blog in this series if you haven’t already  - ONE.1 – The WHY.

2. The WHAT

What makes a great leader?  What do you think are the most essential qualities required?  

Here’s my short, somewhat summarized version of the mass of theory on leadership development; … yes, the topic is a favourite read of mine and my Masters in Management case study papers some years ago, focused strongly on this.

Firstly, there is no such thing as a ‘born leader’.  Sure, some natural personality tendencies may seemingly fit the commonly expected leadership mould better than others; … however great leaders do not become great by luck or chance.   It is by choice … we each choose our behaviours and yes, leadership is a behaviour choice.

Now, while you may think it takes a certain style of individual to become a really great leader [like you’ve either got it or you don’t]; … I believe leaders come in all shapes and sizes; … and leadership behaviour can be developed and demonstrated from all positions; … regardless of what chair you sit in, what role you play, what age or gender you are, or how you present yourself [your looks, your style]. None of that matters greatly or stops you from demonstrating real leadership behaviour.

Many of the world’s great leaders were not instantly GREAT … they became great through developing key traits that assisted them in being better, more successful leaders; … AND then were perceived by others as great leaders through their actions.  Ahhhaa … so being one [or thinking you are one], and what others may be observing, can be two very different views.  Yes, unfortunately this is not only a common scenario in our communities today, it is way too commonly accepted as the ‘norm’; … in that all leaders crave self-importance and expect to be pandered to [don’t they?]; … what?; … even if their behaviours are poor and they don’t deserve it?; … that somehow their position commands a level of respect, regardless of their demonstrated behaviour?. 

REALLY? … For me, respect for a leader has to be earned; … and once lost, generally through broken trust or unethical behaviours, it’s almost impossible for a ‘would be leader’ to redeem themselves from there. Just saying … [more examples of this later in the series].

REAL leadership development starts with high levels of honest self-awareness and self-management; … because until a leader understands their own behaviours and what drives them; … and learns to manage that in a resourceful way; … and portray their GENUINE self to the world; … they can’t successfully lead others.   Eventually people see through disingenuous behaviour; … you know – all puff and bluff, no substance.  The sugar coating wears off to reveal no chocolate inside.

Leaders must walk their talk; … believe in a vision and direction; … action it as role-models; … lead, inspire and empower others.  Simply put …

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way”

                                                                                                                                – John Maxwell

To read more online, click on  Part ONE.3 – The SO WHAT  


To download the full article – PART ONE – The Intro – 1. Why / 2. What / 3. So What / 4. Now What -in printable PDF format, click here:  - LEADERSHIP – What is IS … What it is NOT … series

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