Leadership Thought #275 – Leaders Lead

January 2, 2012

LEADERS LEAD Twitter – ANDY JACKS

Leaders lead – it really is that simple.  Instead of shying away from a challenge, leaders embrace it.  There is no such thing as passive leadership.  When others are hesitant to take action, leaders step up and seize the initiative.  Instead of folding under pressure, leaders thrive under the spotlight and find the harder parts of their job the most rewarding.

Leaders intuitively know that everything important begins and ends with them.  However, they also know that the middle part requires a team effort and they allow others to step up and share their individual and collective strengths as needed.  The best leaders only say “I” when it involves shouldering the blame, but say “we” when it means sharing the credit.

Leadership isn’t for everybody.  In fact, it is a natural state of being for only a small part of the population.  Most people are more comfortable following someone else’s lead than subjecting themselves to the stress and scrutiny of being at the head of the pack.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop the majority of us from having strong opinions about leadership and second guessing the decisions and actions of those we are inclined to or are required to follow.   The best leaders understand this reality.  They also understand the inherent vulnerability of their position, but have a thick skin and promote performance transparency anyway.

Leadership is about courage.  It involves a resolute self-confidence and strong determination to make a positive difference.  Leaders understand and embrace risk, but do so in a productive and thoughtful manner.  Leaders do what is right even when it is hard.  Leader’s learn from the past, navigate the present, and create the future.

The best leaders understand their role is to be in service to something greater than they are. They leave behind a legacy of smart decision-making, ethical behavior, solid judgment, uncompromising integrity, and consistently strong results.  We are fortunate that leaders lead so that the rest of us can have someone to follow.