Leadership is defined as a method through which a person or group influences others to obtain certain goals and objectives. Wikipedia uses other words to say the same thing: the process of social influences on which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in accomplishing common tasks. When man started walking the face of the earth, two things were necessary to sustain life: fire and leadership. Throughout history, individuals have risen to positions of leadership to lead their families, nations, businesses, and armies to success. Leadership opportunities should be embraced and every effort made to develop leadership requirements in oneself. This chapter begins by pointing out and discussing basic leadership requirements of knowledge, courage, communication, character, and decisiveness. It is important to be decisive, but more important, to make great decisions.
During the fall of 2011, following a summer of football
programs and major institutions responding to a myriad of allegations, followed by a fall with the scandal at Penn State, college football was inundated with negative press.
A sports writer from Cleveland called to ask me, "Do you think that big-time football, big salaries, big budgets, grandiose facilities, television coverage and big paychecks from within conferences has negatively affected leadership in these institutions?" my answer was quick as I responded, "No, not at all."
Leadership is leadership, honestly is honesty, integrity is integrity and wisdom is wisdom.
Great leadership is found in small schools and big schools, national politics and county politics, in the corporate world and in sports. Outstanding leaders all have the aforementioned characteristics and ultimately the success of any leader is based on decisions they make. Each leader must make decisions based on his or her moral and ethical compass, and on the facts available.
All leaders must have integrity, wisdom and trust. A leader must be a person of action, and the following actions
are essential to successful leadership.
Ask others their opinion
Set an example
Take responsibility for failed efforts
Give others the credit
Make sound decisions
Listen to others ideas
Have a written plan
Visualize the end results
The good news is that leadership traits can be developed. The following traits are essential to effective leadership. The leadership traits are 1) Judgment, 2) Enthusiasm, 3) Fairness, 4) Endurance, 5) Sincerity, 6) Diplomacy, 7) Dependability, 8) Loyalty and 9) Decision-making.
After developing and living by a leadership philosophy that I call Inclusive Leadership, I recently learned that two
gentlemen by the names of Burns and Bass in the 1970s titled my style of leadership as Transformational.
Inclusive and traditional leadership creates change in the lives of people and organizations. It redesigns perception, values, changes, expectations, and aspirations. The leader's personality traits, ability to make change through example, articulation of energized vision, and challenging goals are qualities of true leadership.
Transformational leadership offers moral examples of working toward the benefit of the team, the organization, or the community. It is good to know that the leadership philosophy that I coined, inclusive leadership, can now be defined as transformational.
Whether it is called Inclusive or Transformational is not as important as mastering the leadership requirements, taking ownership of leadership actions, and working each day to develop those important leadership traits.
Leading and teaching leadership to others are two of the most important efforts we can make in helping others reach their full potential.