Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Nonnegotiable Ingredient of Leadership

Managers have been replaced by leaders. Leaders are more valuable than managers. A manager is a person who controls or directs an institution or organization. A leader is an individual who envisions the course, sets the course, and blazes the path for others to reach the desired end. A leader not only controls and directs but he or she inspires, empowers, encourages, excites, coaches, and guides to success. A leader is a trailblazer. He is a trailblazer who impacts the lives of others in such a way that they are inspired to follow. Early in my career I set my sights on becoming a good manager, but today managers are an extinct species. Leaders have replaced managers and the change has many positive benefits, so this article emphasizes leadership.
The most important attribute of a leader is vision. Leaders are visionary or they can not completely fill the role of an effective leader. If the leader’s vision is powerful, and attainable than others will buy into the vision. People will not follow a vision that is merely a good cause. The effectiveness of the vision will be determined by its ability to be actualized in the minds of others. The vision must be more than a dream; to be successful it must be actualized by others.
A leader’s influence begins to diminish when his ability to clearly visualize begins to disintegrate. To keep the fires of a powerful vision blazing brightly the leader must:
• Focus on hearing what isn’t being said
• Focus on seeing what others fail to see
• Focus on learning what others refuse to learn
Today’s leaders are blazing the trail for tomorrow’s world. May the footprints that they leave inspire all of us to believe that we can achieve the goals that we have set for ourselves!

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