|Lead by Example: Know the Qualities of a Good Leader|
|—Adapted from “Lead by Example: Know the Qualities of a Good Leader” by Brian Tracy International, www.briantracy.com|
Becoming a leader requires that you understand the roles and responsibilities of leadership and that you practice the qualities of a good leader until you begin to emerge as a leader in your personal and professional life.
You are always free to choose and have the ability to choose, to take command and to assume a leadership role in your life through several different leadership styles. In fact, your life is the result of the choices and decisions you have made up until this moment. Leaders are those who make better choices and decisions than others more often than not, and choose to lead by example.
3 Different Leadership Styles
The good news about leaders is that they are made, not born. Leaders are largely self-made as the result of continuously working on themselves over the years. No one starts off as a leader, but you can aspire to leadership by learning the qualities of a good leader and how they think and feel, and then by emulating them until you become one yourself.
There are three major forms of leadership styles in our society today. The first is position power. Position power refers to the powers of rewarding and punishing that go with a particular title or role.
If you are made operations manager or vice president of development, you have the power to hire and fire people, to raise their pay or leave it where it is. You have the power to hand out privileges or punishment and to alter the terms and conditions of employment to make them more or less agreeable. But whoever has your title has those powers. They are conferred upon you by the title itself. They go with the position.
The second type of power is expert power. Expert power arises when you are very good at what you do and as a result, people defer to your opinion and your judgment. Experts in critical areas for the survival or growth of organizations have tremendous power, even though they may have no staff at all. Their decisions and their judgment carry a tremendous weight.
One of the most important decisions you make during the course of your working life is to develop expert power in what you do. By becoming exceptional in your area of expertise, you develop power out of all proportion to your position or title. The most respected and valued people in any organization are those who have developed the ability to make the most valuable and most consistent contributions to the business. By being excellent at what you do, you set up a force field of energy that attracts power and respect to you.
The third form of power in organizations is called ascribed power. This is power that is conferred upon you by other people because they like you, trust you, believe in you and want you to have more influence and authority.
Ascribed power is a combination of being very good at what you do, being likable, being results-oriented and being perceived as the kind of person who can be the most helpful to others in achieving their individual goals.
The effective leader always begins with the “needs” of the situation. The effective leader always asks, “What does this situation most require of me? What am I most uniquely capable of contributing to this organization? Of all the things that I can bring to this organization, what are the one or two things that I and only I can do that will make a difference?”
Have a Vision, Make a Difference and Lead by Example
The most common characteristic of leadership, throughout the ages, is that leaders have “vision.” Leaders can see the big picture. Leaders can project forward three to five years and imagine clearly where they want to take the organization and what it will look like when they get there.
Leaders have the ability to articulate this vision in such a way that everyone around them can see and understand where they are going. The leader is the person who has the ability to articulate an exciting vision of a compelling future that everyone wants to be a part of.
Perhaps the most compelling vision that you can articulate for the people around you is the decision and determination to “be the best” at whatever you do.
One of the most important qualities of a good leader is for you to lead by example, to be a role model, to be the kind of person that everyone else looks up to and wants to be like. One of the characteristics of leaders is that they carry themselves at all times, even when no one is watching, as if everyone was watching.