2 Essentials of Leadership
Author: Arthur cooper
2 Essentials of Leadership by Arthur Cooper (c) Copyright 2006
There are many human qualities that make a leader. Leadership is an amalgam of skills and attributes of all sorts, some more tangible than others.
There are, however, two essentials that every leader must possess, without exception. These are Vision and Communication Skills.
All leaders must have a vision of what they want to achieve and what they want to do. No one can hope to lead others if they don't themselves know what they are going. It is the essential first element. It is what sets the tone. It is what fires up the necessary drive and desire. The vision of the end result is what keeps the leader driving on towards his goal throughout difficulties and setbacks. A leader, then, must be a visionary.
But to be a visionary is not enough. A visionary can see the future as it could be. He can see the result vividly in his mind's eye. He can point the way to others. He can even set off on his own to go there himself. But none of that makes him a leader. A leader takes others with him.
The have been plenty of visionaries in history who have predicted and foreseen advances to science and technology. There have been visionaries who have imagined better societies. In business there have been visionaries in the form of inventors of new and better ways of doing or making things. Many of these had wonderful visions of what could be achieved. They were brilliant people, but were they leaders? Did they persuade others to follow in their dreams? Did they have the power to communicate their vision to others?
Some certainly did and were the leaders of their time. Others did not. Their vision was never achieved in their lifetime, or indeed ever, despite the fact that the vision was sound and the goal achievable. They failed because they failed to convince others of the rightness of their cause. They failed to turn their vision into reality because they could not convince others to share it. They lacked the communication skills to convince others.
In business this is seen as the man or woman with a host of ideas of how to do things better, or cheaper, or with a vision of where the company should be going, but to whom no one listens. His ideas may be brilliant and his vision may be wonderful, but he cannot convince others that he is right. To be a leader you must persuade with argument and logic, certainly, but you must do more if you want to bring you ideas to fruition. You must fire people up. You must enthuse them and excite them if you want to lead them forwards.
Leadership is about communicating your vision to others to the point where they too want to see it fulfilled. They too want to go where you want to go. They see you as a visionary and want to follow you as their leader. You lead and they follow, but they have already been convinced and won over to your cause. They too share the enthusiasm to overcome obstacles and difficulties. They too have the will to keep on when times get hard. They keep pressing on because they want to and not just because you tell them to.
If you can use you communication skills to transmit your vision, then you job as leader becomes infinitely easier. You no longer have to drag people along with you. You just have to point the way.
About the author: Arthur Cooper is a writer and publisher. For his mini-course 'Better Management' go to: h ttp://www.barrel-publishing.com/better_management.shtml