IN HIS book “How The Best Leaders Lead” Brian Tracy wrote, “Leadership is the single most important factor in the success or failure of a company or business.” I believe this is true.
A leader must work with and through people to accomplish the vision for the organization. A huge responsibility is imposed on the leader to ensure that every activity that is carried out is in support of the fulfillment of that vision.
Effective leadership requires character. Character is a combination of such qualities as integrity, honesty, unselfishness, courage, loyalty, respect, conviction, understanding, love of oneself and others.
A leader must be an embodiment of the values, virtues and standards he wants to see in the people he leads. A leader should never be seen to be bending the rules. He cannot tell his staff to be honest when they see him evading taxes. He cannot tell his teammates to be punctual when he perpetually comes to office late.
A leader must not underestimate the power of his actions. What he does can have a huge impact on the people around him. This can be positive or negative. If the staff imbibe wrong values from their leader, it will be bad for the company or business. It will be an enormous roadblock to its success.
A leader must be the light for his people. You are their inspirer, boss, champion, teacher, guardian, mentor, coach, role model or hero. To be any of these, you have no option than to set a good example.
The people you lead should emulate the standards you set. This will make them effective in the discharge of their duties. That is what will contribute to organizational success.
Jesus Christ is our best role model. When he lived on this planet earth, he produced leaders. These were the apostles. He once told his audience, “But I am among you as one who serves.” (Luke 22:27).
Jesus devoted his entire life serving others. He had unconditional love for everyone. He fed the hungry, healed the sick, cast out demons, performed miracles and paid the supreme price by dying on the cross.
He taught his followers to serve. He set an example by washing the feet of his disciples. It was customary in those times for servants to wash the feet of visitors as a sign of honour. (See John 13:4-10). Jesus performed that simple task so the apostles could emulate him. Jesus lived his values and wanted his followers to do the same. They were to serve one another and extend it to anyone coming into their world.
Do not be selfish
If you are a leader, lead well. Do not be selfish. Do not cheat. Treat everybody with respect. Serve your fellow man in humility. Be honest and sincere in all your dealings with people.
Every leader must know this: Your leadership will either result in success or failure based on who you are. You must commit to being an excellent leader. You must be of good character. You are the one everybody looks up to in the organization. You must see yourself as being on show. What you do is being seen by the people in your organization and by the wider public.
You must commit to doing what is right. Be sure that it is not only right for you but also for the organization and the people you lead. Behave as if you are being watched, even when no one is watching you. The idea is to set a good example for the people you lead. It is the key to organizational success.
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