Here is a fact about leadership that no one really wants to talk about: It’s a lot bigger than just yourself. Sure, leadership can bring bigger paychecks and more notoriety, but that’s not even close to defining what true leadership is all about.
True leadership is much more than authority and recognition from the outside world. Leadership is about developing people and helping others reach their full potential. It’s about equipping others with the right tools and strategies not only to maximize the success of an organization but also the lives of individuals. Leadership is about breaking down barriers and leading others through the uncertainty of the future.
The best leaders ever to live not only succeeded in helping their teams win championships or their organizations to dominate the marketplace, but they deeply cared for people and understood what a privilege it is to be a leader.
Think about it for a moment. As a leader, you have the incredible opportunity to change someone’s life every single day. It could be something as simple as saying hello and remembering someone's name when you greet them. It could mean being passionate about helping your people to achieve and pursue their personal dreams and ambitions as much as their professional goals.
It could mean that you force everyone around you to grow and develop into stronger and wiser human beings that will take them to a place they never thought possible before they met you.
There is a plethora of qualities that one needs to become a great leader, but I strongly believe that one of the most important traits that all leaders must possess is a passion to develop and maximize the potential of others. When you transform people individually, you begin to transform your team or organization as a whole.
Transforming people is a quality that every memorable leader has thought about every single day of their lives, because they understand that if they transform their people, they can advance their mission. Leaders that are too caught up in egotistical gratification rather than the development of their people will fall short in the long run. There is a major difference between true leadership and authority-driven management.
Just as athletes have to work constantly to raise their game, leaders need to have the same mentality in finding ways to touch the hearts of their people, inspiring them to to go to the next level and unlock the barriers that hold others back.
Your commitment to going the extra mile to care for your people, lend a helping hand and inspire them will determine the results. When a leader fully understands what true leadership is all about, not only will their organization never be the same again but they themselves will also be changed.
There is nothing easy about true leadership. It’s one of the most difficult jobs in the world, but it also has the potential to be one of the most rewarding jobs in the world. Whether you lead a team of five or 5,000, focus more on being a developer of people and helping those you lead to become the best they can be. That’s true leadership.