Leadership Tales from the Cube

Are the Good Leaders Hiding?

Nowadays, it’s difficult to find a really good leader. Whether it’s in politics (good luck), churches, non profits, corporations or schools, I’m dismayed to find so many that are still out for themselves and their own agenda. Before we move on, let’s define a “leader”.

Anyone can be a leader. Leaders don’t rely on a title and business card to positively influence others to create a fantastic outcome. The single mother with three children who provides daily love, guidance and a safe home doesn’t flip a business card to her five-year old and say “Let’s do lunch”. The pastor who’s asked to pray bedside with a dying family member doesn’t say “Sorry, the football game is on tonight, maybe tomorrow?” The CEO that sacrifices his heart and soul for the betterment of a company doesn’t involve himself in negative office politics and scandal. These individuals lead with the betterment of their people at stake — we call this servant leadership.

A GOOD leader will inspire, guide, mentor, motivate and persuade others for a worthy goal. This goal should benefit everyone following the leader and future followers to come. Note, I said this goal should benefit EVERYONE involved, not just the leader alone. Good leaders don’t set goals and lead for their own ego’s sake, because it looks good on a resume or because they want a better performance review. They should lead because they’re passionate about their cause. They should step up because they have the vision to make this world a better place. They should lead because when their head hits the pillow at night, they know their leadership made a difference in someone’s life. They served someone else other than themselves.

A GOOD leader will also keep up a high level of character and integrity. This is where many are lacking. No ones’ character is perfect, but the good leaders strive to keep a high expectation of themselves in everything they do. They have a strong moral belief system, they realize relationships are the most important aspect and they display transparency, genuineness and honesty in their every day life. (gee, is that all?) Their core principles and beliefs are their compass and should shine through when you watch them in action. They stand up for what’s right even if it’s not the “social norm”.

“If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything. – Alex Hamilton”

The traits are not easy to come by. It takes practice, a passion for improving oneself and faith in your heart. Humans are wired to think of themselves first and while biologically that’s a smart characteristic, it doesn’t help anyone else, does it? I have a hard time accepting humans were created to walk the earth only to think of themselves and never anyone else. Unfortunately today, many think this way and those folks are leading our children, businesses, governments and faith-based organizations.

So I ask you today: Do you know where all the good leaders are hiding? Are they your neighbors, friends or co-workers? If so, encourage them, support them and tell them how much they’re needed right now. Or, maybe you’re one of the good leaders? If so, continue to shine your positive light and don’t be afraid to let it inspire others to do the same. The world needs more servant leaders that strive to leave a positive legacy when they move on from this world. Don’t you agree?

Image courtesy of pakorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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