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A different perspective on leadership

Leadership – how would you define it?

The world seems to be in a constant state of turmoil nowadays and we look to our leaders for guidance and inspiration. The media tends to focus on leaders in the political arena and quite often their behaviours are what we associate with the term leadership.

I have recently been speaking at business functions on the topic of leadership in everyday situations where I have discussed the traits of an effective leader. These traits emerged from my conversations with everyday leaders that I had interviewed for my book, Success Talks.

Some of the traits discussed were those many would associate with effective leaders, such as the ability to communicate your message and developing trust with your followers. Other traits generated questions and discussion from my audience (which I encouraged), in particular, the trait of humility.

Is being humble a leadership trait?

The audience gave examples of current world leaders who they thought did not show humility. In particular, the tension that seems to be gripping the USA in the current lead up to the Republican Party's selection of a candidate for the next Presidential election.

Donald Trump's campaign is on the news on a daily basis. Watching this from afar has proven to be interesting. Does he exemplify a leader's qualities in the 21st century? Each person will have their own opinion and ultimately, the American people will decide.

The concept of humility

Humility is an interesting concept. A humble leader is confident about their ideas and vision, although they are still open to new ideas from other people. This leader is not afraid to make mistakes along the way and takes responsibility for those mistakes. They usually lead by example.

Think about the leaders that you know. Do they demonstrate qualities such as humility? If your answer is 'no', my question again is, how would you define leadership?

A leader does not have to be 'famous' or even the CEO of an organisation. They can be the people that you work with on a daily basis who you feel inspired by and who motivate you to perform at your best in everything that you do. They are everyday leaders.

Making a positive difference

To quote Napoleon Hill, if you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.

Everyday leaders make a positive difference in the lives of those around them. They may not be famous but they are well-known in their own sphere of influence. They do small things in a great way to help make the world – your working environment, community, etcetera – a better place.

'If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.'
– Napoleon Hill

Unfortunately, the definition of a leader is often clouded by the bombardment of information from the media. Everyday leaders walk among us. I encourage you to be inspired by them and look at leadership from a different perspective.

How would you define leadership?

!

Maria Pantalone

Maria Pantalone is the author of Success Talks: Conversations with Everyday Leaders. Maria works with individuals and teams to make communication their strength so that their message is heard. She provides tailored programs in presentation skills, business writing and effective communication as a leader and team member. Maria’s programs help her clients to excel in their role and be recognised as leaders in their field.
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