Linda Waters asked:
Last summer I had the pleasure of taking a trip which included a drive through 19 states in 10 days. It was a considerable amount of driving but a wonderful encounter with history and nostalgia. Each city and town seemed to boast a special person or event that helped shape our country. One thing that really impressed me was the how many times I found myself on Martin Luther King Jr Blvd in so many different cities and towns.
There are Martin Luther King Jr Blvds in Dallas, Chicago and Chapel Hill. There were other streets and highways named after him in other cities, I wish I had counted them all. At one point on the trip, I recall seeing another sign for Martin Luther King Jr Blvd and I briefly could not remember what city or state I was driving through at the time.
Just what qualities did this man possess that made so many considered him great? Even if a person didn’t believe in what he was preaching, there was no denying his great influence. Why? To get the answer I did not have to look far. Martin Luther King Jr himself knew the answer – just have a dream or a new direction and funnel all your energy to getting that dream. With a dream or a vision anyone can learn to be a leader.
“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.”
(T. E. Lawrence, “The Seven Pillars of Wisdom”)
Everyone can learn to lead by discovering the power that lies within each one of us. We can make a difference by being prepared when the call to lead comes. Becoming a leader starts with acknowledging and learning about five qualities we all possess to some extent. Once we take a deep inventory about ourselves and get to know ourselves, the key is practicing and growing these five qualities.
A leader always has a vision. He cannot exist without a vision and a new direction. The vision is always in the mind of the leader no matter where he goes. Nelson Mandela was still a leader even though he spent years in a prison. He never went a day without dreaming and sharing his vision.
A leader knows what his strengths and weaknesses are. He takes advantage of his strengths and avoids the areas of his weaknesses. He prefers to hire others for the kinds of jobs that would take his energy from the things he is really good at. Do some honest self analysis to gain insight about your own strengths and weaknesses.
A leader can delegate and choose the right man for the job. He should be able to differentiate between the groups of candidates for a particular duty. A leader can only get required support from his group of members only when he has made right decision to select his group members. The key is selecting people to do the jobs that correspond to their own strengths.
A good leader is one who has high targets and makes consistent efforts to achieve those targets. With body he gets tired but by mind he is never tired and his mind is always striving to achieve better; growth is his very first objective.
A good leader is one who is commitment bounded. He always fulfills his promises. He never lets his goodwill go down and always works to strive for perfection and to achieve goals for the satisfaction of others. In other words, he takes care for the rights and interests of his group members.
Leadership can be situational and is achieved by life experiences. Every leader has their unique style and you can find your own utilizing, practicing and growing these 5 qualities. When you can step up into a leadership position you will find others looking up to you for that new direction. You can be a spearhead for a new direction.