True Leadership

Today’s blog post has once again been inspired by something I read on Leadership Freak. You can read the original post here (but please remember to come back ;-))

Dan Rockwell discusses four causes of leadership stress, but I think these things apply to everyone, whether or not they consider themselves to be leaders. Does that mean we’re all leaders in some sense? Perhaps everyone influences at least one other person. Does that make them a leader? More rarely, someone might inspire another person, is that what makes a person a leader? I haven’t considered myself a leader in the past, but holding two positions with leadership titles means I have admitted that yes, in some sense I’m a leader. Does holding a particular title make you a leader?

Just today, I had my first tutoring session with a lovely girl who will be going into year 5 in September. Her mother referred to me as the expert. I have had clients for whom I’ve provided my toastmaster services say they’re so pleased there’s an expert involved now, they can relax. I have even had a member of my public speakers club ask me for advice on his wedding speech because he considers me an expert.

Does being an expert make you a leader?

Is leadership a state of mind, something given or something claimed?

I think leadership is about being an example, and not just in your field of expertise. Leadership can be given, but it also has to be claimed and maintained through the right state of mind. I think it’s about having a vision and sharing it with others. It’s about creating an environment that fosters the growth and development of others. True leaders give birth to true leaders.

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2 Responses to True Leadership

  1. Sarah King says:

    I think you’re right in your last para about leadership. It can be given and implied through titles, but it can also be a state of mind, I guess. I’m thinking along the lines of group tasks – usually a leader is not appointed, but there’s always someone who will take charge and kepp everything moving satifactorily.

    As for whether being an expert makes you a leader, I don’t think so. I think it goes back to what I just said above. You don’t have to be an expert or an expert leader to be a leader. Apart from that, certain professions come with the implications of expert – teaching and porbably medicine for example.

    • Vanessa King says:

      Good point about group tasks. Kids will often organise a leader for themselves, although it’s usually the most popular kids, the loudest ones, not the kids with leadership qualities necessarily. Thanks for commenting!

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