The Leader

The director, manager or supervisor are leaders by delegation of power. Through this power – they initiate action; however, power does not guarantee leadership… for a real leader must learn to recognize the limitations of the real world and try to make possible tomorrow, what seemed impossible yesterday.

For this to happen, he must learn to develop the invisible world of people’s minds and to open the human heart. It is by the actions of followers that leaders are born. 

Anyone can become a leader, but not everyone strives to reach such a status. In a group of people, one will be identified as a leader and the others will become followers. The true leader will rise from the recognition of others and by actions towards company interests, understanding of human nature and contribution to society.

The leader must possess strong beliefs, values and positive attitudes, otherwise the followers will stop relying on him and from that moment on, he will no longer be recognized as a leader, even if he is a leader by delegation of power.

Leaders that are imposed on the people may even do some acceptable work, providing that they have the support from their superiors and followers. They may even supervise work units and maintain a certain quality as long as everything runs smoothly and inside a predetermined pattern but that isn’t sufficient for them to become leaders. They do not have the initiative or inner power to improve or alter a work process, to project a company into a competitive future.

Good leaders must have the ability to motivate, understand and inspire their followers. An example of a leader that is great in motivating people to achieve their goals and dreams is Richard Jadick. It is by the action of leaders that the rules are established. Leaders are responsible for creating a culture, determining values and passing on principles that will give a direction to a business or industrial activity.

Today’s leadership is totally different to the one practiced in the past, where power was sustained by fear imposed on the workers. This is one of the reasons why there are so many companies with poor leaders, where the notion still prevails that we can control people, just because they are afraid to lose their jobs in a world that is becoming more and more competitive. It is not by these means that a leader will obtain an efficient collaboration from his followers to attain goals or renovate work processes that will sustain a company’s competitive position.

Power sustained by fear is a demonstration of impotence and not leadership. The true leader does not have to create fear in his subordinates to make them do their best. In today’s world we must consider that leaders and followers depend more and more on each other. Leaders exist to orient the followers and to take out of them the best that each one can give. It is the sum of different ideas that gives a meaning to an end and it is the leaders responsibility to use this information with honesty and wisdom. Leaders don’t exist if they don’t have followers and the success of any business depends on those that are able to motivate people in a work environment.

There are leaders that can operate comfortably in various segments such as: production, marketing, engineering, etc. by they cannot adapt themselves with human relations and emotions. They are men that know how to manipulate numbers and the techniques of their profession, but are unable to develop the existing qualities in the people that surround them. It is like the professor that is an expert in his field but doesn’t know how to transmit his knowledge to the students. These people cannot be considered leaders because no one person alone is able to produce extraordinary results for a company. If leaders want to produce results in modern and competitive companies, they must learn to invest on the “intellectual capital” of the workers by offering them respect, dignity and honest practices.

Being a leader is no longer a position of status, but the power to inspire and mobilize high performance groups, to motivate people and to achieve goals. A leader is the force that will stand to take anything to its limits and the understanding to facilitate groups of people to adopt a common vision to create effective results.

Analyzing these points, we may conclude that today’s leadership is quite different from what many people suppose. It is no longer the power of status that influences people, but personal power created by the support and loyalty given to him by his subordinates.

We can also assume that it is not only some characteristics or lines of thought such as the ones brought together here that make the leader. There is much controversy surrounding leadership, but we can adapt ourselves to some tendencies and styles of leadership that are producing results in a globalized world. Providing we maintain an honest attitude towards human feelings, and support truth and loyalty amongst the people that pave the way for leaders.

To end this short summary on leaders, I would like to quote an inspirational message by Napoleon Hill. – “It is no disgrace to be a follower. On the other hand, it is no credit to be a follower. Most great leaders begin in the capacity of followers. They became great leaders because they were intelligent followers.”