Some people claim that leadership qualities must be inborn and whoever got it are considered as the natural born leader and some other people claim that leadership qualities are nothing but skills acquired, learned, attained by training and experience hence these qualities can be achieved by anyone.
Quite often, the word leader and manager are mixed up and used interchangeably. The matter of fact is that a leader may be a manager, but a manager is not necessarily a leader. Managers have subordinates; they administer the people who work for them while leaders, not necessarily managers have followers.
Managers by their position or authority may expect the least commitment from their subordinates. Generally subordinates are driven by the desire to achieve the negotiated benefits with the least effort in contrast the managers expect from their subordinates maximum commitment.
Prime ministers, presidents, kings, and queens are not leaders but representative authorities. Some famous leaders as the commander of army, strategist or a person with strong influence was Alexander the great, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and so on, these people moved and led the mass by their charisma and skill set. Looking at these figures one might think that being a leader must mean being revolutionary.
True leaders are the one, who connects, inspires, mobilize, who are close to their followers, and who are capable to express their visions in a tangible reach, because of these traits there is a high expectation of maximum benefit and change of circumstances therefore the follower are more devoted and committed for the sake of their own interests.
Many powerful leaders share similar characteristic and are only differentiated by their leadership style but one thing most leaders have in common, they are terminated by their own people before they may enjoy their merit. Fortunately although less lethal but not less nasty, nowadays battles are fought mainly in politics, in corporate environments as project managers, company leaders or entrepreneurs.
Discovering one’s talents and even developing the attitudes is one thing, discovering the nature of self, the inclinations, and the style which is used to lead is another. Even cultivated not all leaders will be successful on all terrains at any given time so only the challenges in certain circumstances might bring out the true qualities and natural style of a leader. The knowledge to know which style works best on what terrain might be the key element of a failure and success.
Some leaders almost invisible operate from behind and shines brightest when they are in need when all surrounded are desperately looking for the exit, they know with their instinct the way out but when the darkness is over their light diminimish on the other hand there are constantly shining leaders who moves lot of mass yet when it comes to be a beacon in the darkness then they can not be seen.
Although not less complex in his personality, just imagine Mahatma Gandhi as the commander of an army whose aim is to conqueror a continent or Pol Pot in a peace keeping mission. Both certainly capable to mobilize and move the mass and rest assured both have followers and opposers. The difference is in their style and approach how they lead.
Nobody has the one size fits to all skills; however there is always something where one can excel above others and when these qualities are discovered. The right leadership quality attracts power and with power comes great responsibilities. Power should be used wisely at the right time and at the right place to maximize its potential otherwise the history revealed us some infamous leaders as well.
What make the leaders distinct to those who aren’t?
Once a fortune 100 CEO told me that there are only two types of people; I call them turkeys and eagles. The turkeys you may train and motivate them, they do exactly what they are told to do but in the end they are motivated and educated turkeys, on the other hand, the eagles are self-driven and go for their prey, they do not have to be told, they just do what has to be done. The ratio to get an eagle is one to ten.
Having a high aspiration for an eagle as the symbol of leadership could be as wrong as reducing the turkey merely for Thanksgiving Day. The flipside of the coin is that most leaders’ qualities are based on reduced level of empathy, indifference, and the drive to utilize their superiority; in contrast the turkeys are noble in their qualities hence one is no better than the other except both have their unique tasks with all its perks and challenges. Can you be the leading eagle with the noble attitudes of turkey?
There is a famous saying “many are called but few are chosen”. Often human being tends to believe that they must have a life purpose and meant to lead others while in fact capable but when the circumstances offer the opportunity to distinguish one self, most are nowhere willing to pay the price for being a true leader.
Certainly not anyone is meant to be a leader however success can be achieved either way; so pay the price and take the lead or operate and support at your best to achieve the common goals.