Several weeks ago, I asked for your favorite leadership quote that represents your personal definition of leadership and several of you responded on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages. As you can see from the quotes (below) that were submitted, there are many different descriptions of what a leader must be or key attributes that a leader must have. Here at The Leadership Center, be have organized our thinking into 10 Leadership Essentials as constructed by Dr. Snow. You can find these essentials expressed throughout our site. The quotes that were submitted provide great examples of key leadership qualities and attributes.
“Leaders help people to see themselves better than they are” is a great example of how a leader must cast vision and inspire. Leaders need to cast a vision of where they see the organization, themselves, and their followers become and inspire them to see the vision realized. Leadership is more than managing and directing people and organizations; leadership is about inspiring. “Getting people to willingly do what you want them to do” is all about motivation, inspiration, and vision. Effectively casting vision will result in a teamwork centered organization working together to accomplish the mission and fulfill the vision.
The Army’s “Be, Know, Do” conveys that what leaders “Do” is a result of who they are (Be) and what they “Know”. A leader will have certain skills, values, and attributes that define their character. These qualities are not enough to be an effective leader; a leader must Do something with these skills and qualities – they must apply what they know. Much of what a leader knows is learned over time. There are various arguments that state that great leaders are born and only a few are made. The fact is, that some people are natural born leaders; these people just have certain skills and qualities that they are born with. Others must simply try harder; they must work harder, learn more, and have more experiences to be effective. Regardless, all leaders – born or made – must have experience in order to become a successful leader. These experiences help develop and form the leader into who they are.
I will end with, “always do what you are afraid to do.” As a leader, it is important to realize and leverage your strengths and embrace your weaknesses to become more effective. What is equally important, is realizing that you cannot rely solely on your strengths and ignore your weaknesses. Successful leaders embrace change and work to improve upon their weaknesses resulting in gained experience and knowledge and becoming a more effective leader.
Take the time to identify and leverage your strengths, embrace your weaknesses, and strive to become the leader you were born to be or working to become.
- Jared W. Snow
Managers help people to see themselves as they are; Leaders help people to see themselves better than they are. Jim Rohn
We must learn to help those who deserve it, not those who need it. Life responds to deserve, not need. Jim Rohn
Don’t send your ducks to eagle school because it won’t help. Start with where people are before you try to take them to where you want them to go.
Be Know Do – US Army
Getting people to willingly do what you want them to do. ROTC
Don’t wait; the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along. Napoleon Hill
Always do what you are afraid to do. Ralph Waldo Emerson
A leader is not one who loves to run others, but one who carries water for his people so they can do their jobs. R Townsend