Many leaders would probably pick another job if they could. The pressures of having so many people relying on you, having so many decisions to make, having to always be strong….it has to be a lot. But they know they have a job to do, and somewhere in their minds they believe that they are the best people for that job. That is what makes them leaders.
You have to be a people person if you want to be a leader; leaders can’t just lead themselves. They have to know how to communicate and interact with their subordinates. A king who treats his subjects well will enjoy many years of long and successful reign. A king who doesn’t will shortly find himself walking to the gallows. At least that’s how it was back in the day.
At one time or another, every leader has had a moment of panic where they just didn’t know what to do. Times like this show whether a man is a real leader or not; a leader will take a deep breath and do what he can whilst anyone else would throw in the towel. They have to stay calm and keep an even head. This gives them the ability to make tough decisions under pressure.
No one wants to be led by anyone they don’t believe in. People want leaders they can’t rely on, leaders they trust, and if the person leading them constantly falters or seems unsure of themselves, they will inevitably be replaced. This is why a leader has to be confident at all times. When a situation hits him dead on, he has to be able to hit back with equal force, outlining a course of action with determination and conviction.
One of a leader’s most important jobs is to make the decisions others can’t. Whether it is a matter of moral ambiguity or one of great and possibly tragic outcome, leaders have to be able to choose well and live with that choice. This is perhaps the heaviest aspect of a leader’s job. Because if a bad decision is made, all the blame falls on the leader.
A leader should be open to input from all sides, and should judge all input equally, regardless of source. Listening is a powerful skill, and can make a leader all the better. Leaders have to be able to make their own decisions, but that doesn’t mean they can’t listen to other people’s opinions.
Most of all, a leader should back his beliefs up and not quail under the scrutiny of others. Be the best leader you can be and stay firm at all times.
Everyone has their own idea of what a good leader is. Most can agree that it is a person who can represent those who can’t speak for themselves, and someone who will go to bat for his people. That is a true leader.
By Nathan Dean