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The Foundation of a True Leader

Written By: Stephen Despin

Often when people think of a leader they immediately think of a boss. We think of someone telling us what to do, when to be at work, and the person who coaches us when we make a mistake. However, is that really a leader? Or is that simply a manager?

In this article I’m going to discuss leadership, what is means to be a leader, and ways that people can be leaders without ever even being in a position of authority. There’s far more to being a leader than simply telling people what to do, that’s what this article is about! Hope you enjoy the read and find the information helpful.

The definition of leader is “the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.” But what does it mean to lead? To find the answer to this question lets first look at the definition of lead. The definition of lead is “the initiative in an action; an example for others to follow.” So then does a person need to be in a position of authority to be a leader? I don’t think so! A leader is the person a team looks up to, someone who empowers and motivates others around them, and who sets an example for others to follow. You don’t need to be in a position of authority to do this and you certainly don’t need to be in a position of authority for others to follow you. A leader lifts those around them and shares knowledge to help them become leaders themselves.

Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others. Great leaders are not the best at everything. They find people who are the best at different things and get them on the same team. Everyone has their own comparative advantage and can create value for the team in different ways.  These different comparative advantages

are what make a team unique while also making the team stronger. It’s a leader’s role to empower the individuals on their team to be the best versions of themselves not to make more versions of themselves. A leader will keep morale up and keep the team working together in a harmonious environment. If toxic behavior in a workplace is left unchecked, it will spread and kill the organization. The only antidote is strong, positive leadership! True leaders don’t create followers they create new leaders.

A bottom-up approach will lead to incredible outcomes. It’s important to listen to those you’re leading. Hear their concerns, ideas, and opinions. Often, they may see something you didn’t because they’re looking at it from a different perspective. It’s important as a leader to realize that you don’t know it all and have the humility to admit you’re wrong. You can tell a bully from a leader by how they treat people who disagree with them. Leadership is about being able to be relied upon, trusted, and being a person that shares knowledge and helps others grow. We can build each other up by lifting each other up. We can set an example for others by remaining principled, integrity driven, honest, and humble while also having a contribution mindset and a heart to help others.

We can do all these things without having to have an authority position. These are things we can all do every day to be better leaders in our families, at our job, in our community, or even in our state. We can all be leaders in our own way and create amazing value for our communities. Are you ready to be a leader? Give me a call today!