I did not consider myself a leader when I was young nor did I have aspirations to be a leader, but I became a leader. Leadership is contagious. When you are around a great leader, you learn, you grow, and you want to become like that leader. You know when you are around a great leader as others seek to be around that leader as well. Hopefully you have had the opportunity to be mentored by someone like I am describing. That person could be your parent, a teacher, a pastor, or a supervisor, manager or executive at the company you work or have worked for.
There is a very simple but profound leadership principle that I am not sure who to give credit to, but goes like this, “I do, you watch. I do, you help. You do, I help. You do, I watch. You do, someone else watches.” I want to unpack that into three steps. Follow along below the image to learn how to recognize a great leader.
Great leaders help you see the potential that is locked within you.
Recognition is one of the distinguishing marks of a great leader in any field. I am a firm believer that leaders are developed not born. I do agree that many people are born with or develop leadership skills earlier than others, but leadership is caught and taught. Developing leaders is most effective in the multiplication of leadership. Leadership must not be self-centric, but shared, developed, and multiplied to other potential leaders. This multiplication of leadership will enable the expansion and success of any organization
Great leaders give you the tools to help you become a great leader
This is where the “caught and taught” are manifested in leadership development. When we see great leaders at work doing what they do best, which is lead with confidence and success, leadership is caught. When great leaders give you opportunities to observe them under a microscope, leadership is taught. Leadership can be caught and taught in various other ways as well. Compelling and moving speeches/talks as well as articles, books and seminars are part of the caught and taught. When a leader invests in people and transfers their life to another, leadership multiplication happens.
Great leaders give you the opportunity to become a great leader
I was first introduced to the concept of leadership through an experiment of sorts that took place at a Fortune 500 corporation in 1990. I was hired into a position to be a Team Leader in a newly formed group that was implementing a strategy called Self-Directed Teams. My goal was quite simple, to develop and empower ten other white collar workers into being leaders. That of course, while performing the required functions of an accounting group responsible for handling almost two billion dollars of sales accounting. In this position I learned how to move an organization that had been entrenched, I mean really entrenched in traditional management structures to give team members the opportunity to lead, participate and make decisions. Out of that group was chosen someone to succeed me when I left due to her leadership skills that had been honed and developed through opportunities she had been given to lead.
Use these principles in your church, your small business, or your mega-corporation to instill leadership on all levels. It will produce measurable results that will increase the multiplication of leaders and the multiplication of your organization.