What is leadership?
If you were to ask twenty CEO’s that question you would likely get close to twenty different answers and quite honestly they might all be right; but what exactly is it? How is it different than management? What does a leader do?
I love what Orrin Woodward (#1 Best selling Author and Inc. Magazine Top 50 Leadership and Management expert) says: “Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar.”
Today’s leader will inspire, encourage, have a vision as well as be willing to get in the trenches and lead by example.
In their book Launching a Leadership Revolution Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady discuss the five levels of influence where ultimately a leader will actually develop leaders that develop other leaders.
Leadership is a unique field because one can read a few leadership books and write a great article or even a book on leadership, maybe even do a great talk or seminar on leadership; the principles and theory of it, but does that make them a leader? They may know a lot about leadership but can they actually gain enough influence with people, put together a team, organization or following and truly lead people? There is where you will find the difference between leadership theory and application.
There is a growing awareness of the difference of management and leadership in today’s business world. The “management” of the past must giveway to the LEADERSHIP of the future. I actually heard recently (from Forbes I believe) that the future of business is managementLESS. More and more companies/corporations are realizing the importance of true leadership. It is a well know fact that most people don’t quit their “jobs” they quit their bosses and with employee turnover being an incredibly costly issue, developing “employee loyalty” through true leadership is one of the greatest assets a company can invest in and develop.
So “How do I become or develop leaders within my organization?” you ask? Funny you should ask! 🙂
First and most important is to become a student of leadership. We must be honable and humble enough to learn for if we are to big to learn then we are to small to lead. (OUCH!) It is often said “Not all readers are leaders but all leaders are readers”. Which brings me to my three points and keys to success not only in leadership but honestly anything.
You may have heard the old saying: “If you hang around dogs, you’ll get fleas”. There is definitely some truth to that. In the same respect, if you hang around leaders or successfull people the same principle will apply only to our advantage so association is a huge part in the whole process.
In this short video Chris Brady touches on that just a little.
I would like to ask a question: How many of your sales force, managers or executives are actively & on purpose reading & listening to sales/leadership material or associating with people who are? Imagine what your “numbers” would look like if they all were… Imagine what your competitions numbers would look like if THEY were. 😉
If you were to ask for a show of hands of people in your company who were how many would go up? Below is another SHORT video of a community of leaders who everyone in the room, 15,000 or so, ARE actively reading, listening and associating with success and leaders.