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What is a True Leader?

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By Jared McCullough

Many say a leader is born, but I say leaders are made. A leader is made by the decisions he or she has made in their life that has made them the person they are today. More importantly they must use these life choices and learn that not everything is going to go their way in life. When life throws a wrench into your plan you must overcome and adapt. Whether that be a total breakdown of supply or simply an uncooperative team member. A true leader is defined by 5 things.

RESPECT-A true leader has a common respect for his colleagues. Respect is a highly valued commodity and is very important in any environment. The leader will give respect to gain some from the people they are overseeing. This allows a more comfortable environment and tends to be more productive. The most important thing in terms of respect is that a leader chooses the general direction of the situation but doesn’t micromanage his fellow workers.

ABILITY TO LEAD-When a group of people encounter a problem with no means of overcoming it, the leaders are revealed. Leaders will step up to the plate and guide the group through the challenge. However it isn’t just stepping up when needed, but being able to see a problem and take action to fix it. A leader must have the ability to communicate what needs done in an easy to understand and comprehensive way. This eliminates confusion and frustration in the group. It can also inspire people to do better or drive them to keep going.   

LEAD BY EXAMPLE-Many leaders tend to just stand above others and tell them what to do. This not only can cause a negative reaction to the leader but will lead to confusion and cause a lack of efficiency. True leaders will show what needs to be done without having to be asked. In some situations the leader will start the work and finish with the people they are leading. The best example is that of military officers. There are multiple times in history where a military unit is pinned down under fire and the officers leads the charge into certain death or defeat but end up achieving a win after his soldiers followed him to take the fight to the enemy.

VISION- The final thing a true leader has is a vision. A vision that blazes the path and innovates to improve the current situation. This brings about new ideas that can potentially lead to great things. A leader isn’t afraid to fail because he will have the audacity to persevere, overcome, and learn from that failure. To take his idea to the next level and if that fails, so be it. He will keep trying till he is out of options. At that point he knows when to quit.

So a true leader respects those he leads and leads with confidence. He leads by example and use his vision to advance his ideas to new levels. He fails hard with a risk only to succeed later and inspires others with perseverance. Leaders aren’t born, they’re made. 

 

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