Some of most profound statements ever made are around the concept and constructs of leadership. Millions if books have been written on the subject. Microcosms of leadership characteristics have made their way into the mainstream arenas. All make valid points. The beauty is that leadership does not rest in a singularly focused path. Leaders can be made, they can be born, they rise, they are forced into leading; the reasons can go on and on and on.
A quick google question of “what are the different types of leadership” returns with
“Here are four leadership types”
“The seven leadership characteristics”
“The 8 most common leadership styles”
Four – Five – Seven – Eight – Three – Ten – Seventeen – twelve – Nine
Where does it all end?
Better question…. Where does it begin?
Important question…. Who is right?
Best question…. What kind of leader do I want to be?
Navigating The Waters
Perhaps we should start by defining leadership. Simply it is the action of leading someone (a person or a group of people) or something. The key word is that of ‘action.’ Leadership demands that someone is doing something.
Leadership then is merely influence.
The ability for one entity to influence another entity. Now we can walk through how to love to lead. Leadership can (and does) have different meanings to each of us. Some dictators believe that leadership comes by means of fear or pain, while others believe that the best way to lead others is by serving them.
Leadership requires giving. To influence others, they need to receive something from the leader whether a direction, a demand, or a decree. Whether good, bad, right, or wrong, we all follow someone or some construct.
Leadership involves growing. What serves you presently may not be what serves you in the future. It may be important to you to maintain influence over others for a long period of time (like being a parent) or you may only desire to lead others during a specific time frame (like being an Olympic coach).
Leadership produces grace. As a leader, your position mandates responsibility. Unless you have been born into a leadership role, you will probably experience wins and losses. These experiences become pillars of thought when forced to make decisions as a leader. The best leaders are not fair, they are just. However, leaders cannot become just if they have not walked through some fires of their own.
Finding The Love
Having a love to lead means that you have become attuned to how you show up in the day-to-day menagerie of life. There has been seasons of giving, points of growing, and fortunes of grace.
Giving of your time, energy, resources, and knowledge is foundational for leading. I would say that those who give more, lead better. By the very nature of taking responsibility for something (beginning with ourselves) we learn. The more we learn, the more we grow. The more we grow, the better we become. Along that path of growing, there will be plenty of mistakes being made. Others who are leading you will extend (at times) grace for certain mistakes and at times consequences for others. Plus, sometimes we encounter natural consequences for mistakes that teach us too.
Falling in love with becoming a leader causes us to take responsibility for those we lead. We become better leaders by guiding those under our responsibility to become leaders themselves. The best leaders are not afraid to see people grow into their own leadership roles. In fact, my challenge to you (and me) is to find those people in our circles that we can lead to greater heights.
The greatest fulfillment as a leader comes when we see those whom we’ve had the opportunity to lead surpass us.