Being a leader and enacting the virtues of leadership implies, mandatorily, that we have achieved success. The converse, however, is not necessarily true: reaching success does not mean we are leaders. Success is tantamount to conquering our goals. In other words, success means we have crossed the goal line.
Leadership can be defined as the will to control processes and events, to understand what is required to focus all of the involved activities in a specific direction, and to yield the power to complete tasks and distribute resources, properly harnessing and directing the abilities of each person involved in the project. Summarizing, leadership is about control, focus, and also about effective management of people and resources.
There are two kinds of leaders:
- Nominal Leaders: The main goal of nominal leaders is to establish, between her organization and its environment, a set of relations which allow the perfect execution of a project’s tasks. A nominal leader defines such tasks and monitors them to verify they are carried out entirely.
- Concrete Leaders: This kind of leader expresses and represents the perspectives of her group. It might happen that the nominal leader will not properly represent or understand the emotions of her people, and under such circumstances, a concrete leader could emerge and oppose the inpetitude of the nominal leader (and even replacing her.)
This tell us a very important fact: groups follow the person which is able to quickly and clearly connect with their emotions. Leadership is, then, also an emotional journey.
Some leaders are more effective managing small groups, instead of huge organizations. Other leaders are able to inspire great masses, but are little respected by their immediate collaborators. And there is a third group of leaders, the best leaders, whose followers are everyone: masses and close collaborators.
Regardless of the cognoscitive field a leader adresses, they have several interesting characteristic which distinguish them from everybody else. The 3 most visible characteristics of leaders are:
- They have achieved incredible success in their work and in their private lives; it’s often said about them that they have the Midas touch.
- They seem to own an unlimited luck.
- They are rich, and they are getting richer (even right now).
There exists a wrong belief about leadership being a hereditary, genetic issue. And some people think being a successful, real leader is a matter of luck. Nothing further from the truth. Leadership has to be built, has to be shaped, and (very important) has to be mantained. And there’s always room for improvement.
All of we are able to achieve professional success. But we have to study, we have to observe, we have to learn which are the traits of leaders and the keys for success. Obviously, success can be achieved, taught and learnt: we have to reshape a set of our behaviors, and suit them to the profile of a successful person. We have previously touched upon 3 visible traits of leaders. Now it’s time to delve into this point. And now we’ll discuss the two key traits of leaders:
Leaders are like tireless motivation machines. Leaders are continuosly motivating themselves, and they renew their motivations easily, almost effortlessly. Leaders communicate and convey their motivation to the people around them. Leader are always motivated, and always motivating their people.
And motivation is the fuel for the kernel of success: perseverance. They are entrepeneurs and innovators. Generally, successful people have faced harsh beginnings. What distinguishes them is their faith in what they are doing, in what they are pursuing. Leaders believe. Leaders insist in their projects, goals and tasks. They set realistic tasks, and they fight over and over until fully completing each one of such tasks. How many times do common people abandon their startups at the first view of difficulties? How many projects are never realized just because of plain laziness? It’s in that initial moment of doubt when leaders raise above the crowd. Leaders keep going forward, because they are relentless fighters. Note that leaders are perseverant in work and effective use of their resources. Perseverance without a rational application of forces and use of resource will only lead to an utter failure.
And what’s life but a struggle against the chaotic forces of the universe? Leaders are the warriors who are able to tame those chaotic trends