The True Meaning of Leadership – Part1
In this series of articles on leadership, we will look at the real meaning of leadership as a mnemonic. I have divided the entire article into three parts. The first part will look at the first four letters of the word Leadership (LEAD)- Legacy, Education, Attitude and Desire.
1. The leader and her LEGACY
One of my all time best movies is 'Troy'. My favourite scenes include where Thetis, the mother of Achilles, reveals to her son Achilles, played by Brad Pitt, the two possible paths for his life. One path led to a loving family man who will be blessed with health, prosperity and longevity, but will live in obscurity and will not be remembered by humanity. The second path will lead to a short life but full of glory and immortality. Achilles chose glory and immortality.
Right after that scene, we see Achilles and his legions, called myrmidons, in a boat approaching the shores of Troy. In a resounding voice he gives his soldiers the choice of their future,”Myrmidons! My brothers of the sword! I would rather fight beside you than any army of thousands! Let no man forget how menacing we are, we are lions! Do you know what's waiting beyond that beach? Immortality! Take it! It's yours!”. That is living for legacy, making a choice to live for something that is eternal.
The legacy of the leader is what she will be remembered for when she leaves the scene of leadership, when she is gone, when she is no more in charge of the team, department or organisation.
This is one of the first things every leader should bear in mind upon taking on a leadership role, whether positional or functional. What will I be remembered for? Legacy mostly is in line with the brand of the leader. So right from inception, the leader should try and envisage the end from the beginning. One might not succeed perfectly in their legacy, but definitely one will either exceed it or be very close to it. Without a legacy plan, most leaders leave the scene and their achievements are effortlessly covered by the sands of time.
2. The Leader and his EDUCATION
Education should be an ultimate goal for any leader. The day a leader fails to educate himself is the day he loses the rein of leadership. Education for the leader should involve equal dosage of formal and informal. Everyday and everybody affords the leader an opportunity to learn and grow. The leader should be committed to a continuous lifelong learning and education. It is only the teachable who can be educated. Learn more here
Education is a journey and never a destination. The only time the leader should stop educating himself is when he is dead. Even then, his legacy will educate others. Education and the leader are inseparable. He won't last without being informed and showing commercially awareness of his industry.
3. The Leader and her ATTITUDE
It is famously said that, 'attitude determines ones altitude'; it is your attitude that determines the height you can reach. It determines how far you can maximise your potential. It caps your achievements.
Attitude springs from a person's mindset. The mindset is developed from understanding and perception distilled from an occurrence. If a person's experiences are not well understood for a good mindset to be cast, there is a good chance of resulting in a bad attitude. There is therefore the need for the leader to understand his environment and his own self well enough to always put up an excellent attitude.
Attitude is everything. It separates the haves from the have nots. It is what differentiates the extraordinary from the ordinary. An individual with a good attitude can face any challenge without being held back by complaints and criticisms.
4. The Desire of the Leader
Without desire, a person can't achieve anything. It is the fuel for every achievement. Desire gives the drive and momentum which yields the dedication and commitment needed to achieve the seemingly impossible. It is what precedes change. It is what turns fallow ground into plush estates, modern cities, and commercial plantations. The Bible says the desire of the righteous man shall not be cut of. Which means without a desire, even the righteous man is nothing.
In the second part of this series of article, I will look at the leader's Emotional Intelligence, Relationships and Strength(s) (ERS). visit Newaccra.com to see it first