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By Frank Jordan
What is Leadership?
Quality leadership is the one ingredient critical to the success of any organization; whether government, business, social, church or family. The present challenges to our way of life in America for successful resolution demand excellence in leadership from the presidency through our local city councils, businesses, families and, perhaps most important, our personal lives.
But what is leadership? In two words, leadership is inspiring influence. Some lead with dynamic leadership while others are hands-on. Some are quiet while others are eloquent speakers and cheerleaders. The common trait of great leaders is they get the job done and get along with people. A leader is hopeful and instills hope in those that are led, having earned respect.
As a people we do not prefer elitist who look down on us or talk down to us, but prefer those who have been subjected to the intense heat of life’s demands while forging the toughness and strength for successful leadership. Time and actions raise the curtain on those in the position of leadership to show the true nature and intent of the individual leader. We are now in a transition of learning “change” is a verb and we should explore the “from” and the “to” before just seeking action without fully understanding objectives.
Those who best understand survival in this difficult world are those who have been in the valley’s and peaks of life and come through victorious. They understand the problems and frustrations of those being led and, while often scarred by life’s wars in raising a family, making a living and staying healthy, they are optimistic rather than bitter and determined to make their world a better place to live ranging from their family to the planet!
Leaders are often defined by what a leader is not:
Leaders are also determined by positive traits.
An excellent summary of outstanding leadership characteristics is found in the Rotary International Club’s “Four Way Test” written by Herbert J. Taylor in 1932. In all that we say or do, consider the following:
Is it the truth?
Is it fair to all concerned?
Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Put simply, aspire to inspire before you expire. Frankly speaking, no one is perfect and we all fall short of the ideals that guide us, but we must continue each moment of each day to strive toward those objectives and to be more like the one perfect man who ever lived who did in not just “talk the talk, but in fact did “walk the walk” as the perfect leader.