There are many people who move around and call themselves leaders when they are far from the real meaning of the word leader. It is not just the title that matters but also what you do with the title. Sometimes most people who enact themselves or carry the banner of leadership do not have what it takes to be a leader. Leadership is really a lot more to do with your level of influence that you have on others at an individual level.
Loyalty – If you desire that those you lead become “sold out” and loyal to the brand you are promoting then you also need to show it by being loyal yourself. Be loyal to the vision and organization you are working for. Be loyal enough to be seen to have the items you are promoting as a leader.
Learning – A leader is always learning. The day someone says I have learned enough and I know it all is the day someone falls from the ladder of leadership. Always endeavor to sharpen your leadership skills by increasing your level of exposure through news, reading books and journals on management. Leaders are indeed readers.
Legacy – As a leader of an organization, you must work towards setting up a lasting legacy which will live beyond your time. If you live for the moment then you will like just setup structures and operations just for the moment. A leader is futuristic in his/her thinking. A leader thinks of a successor while he leads so that he/she can pass the title on to the next person available or capable.
Legitimacy – A leader must be authentic. How one becomes a leader is also important. Sometimes a leader is voted into office while in other instances a leader is interviewed and based on performance during an interview then one is able to stand out above what others offer and gets the job appointment. You do not just wake up and call yourself a leader if you have no one following. You can only be legitimate if you have a genuine following.;
Liberal – Liberal means willing to respect and accept behavior or opinions different from one’s own. You need to be open as a leader. You can not afford to assume that only your opinions matter when you work in a team. It is important to open up to others to contribute to the organization’s success. One person can only go so far but when the whole organization is full of people with ideas and liberal leadership then there is marked progress.
Life saver – As a leader you need to know that you lead people with lives. You exist to ensure that people you lead have lives worthy of living. A leader reaches a person’s life needs before demanding for the person’s hand. Many lives depend on your life saving willingness.
Like-able / Love-able – A leader works with people. People have to like a leader if the leader is to work with them to meet the organizational goals. You are not a leader if people you lead wish you were not around. This is not a license to bribe people to like you. You can be like-able due to the fairness you handle issues with.
Limitless – A leader thinks differently. He/she is not bound by a limited mindset but thinks far and wide. A leader takes his/her own mind right into the the future. When a leader puts limits on people’s minds then people do not aspire to rise higher than the ceiling the leaders have put.
Linkages – A leader’s strength is in the networks and linkages that he/she makes. A leader is not an island unto him/herself. A leader works with others to ensure that there is growth and development within him/herself. A leader also benefits those in his network or linkage group through his/her experiences, attitudes, skills and intellectual ability.
By Andrew Clapton