Thinking Leadership (2)

I will at this point now offer my definition of leadership thus: Leadership is the ability to use the talents, time and treasures of others to achieve an organizational goal without destroying the people’s capacity for self-actualization, self-realization and self-fulfillment. This definition does not focus on positional leadership alone. Leadership is always in the context of goal realization and other people’s efforts. From the definition, a leader does not destroy the capacity of others while he galvanizes them towards the pursuit of either personal or corporate goals. The concept of great leadership here reflects in the definition above. You will become a great leader when you motivate and direct others towards a set goal, paying special attention to their strengths and weaknesses while deploying them to appropriate places within the corporation without destroying their capacity to realize themselves. In other words, a great leader recognizes the needs and the aspirations of the followers.

He gives freedom coupled with responsibility. He permits them to be creative and innovative while trying to realize the organizational goal within the purview of the core values of the corporation. He does not try to re-create himself in them. He allows them to be themselves in pursuing the set goal. As Myles Munroe puts it, a true leader does not try to clone people in his image but rather releases them. He harmonizes organizational goals/interests with the goals/interests of the followers. In other words, a great leader does not pursue organizational goals to the detriment of the personal goals of the followers.
There is what I call ‘needs-identification’. A great leader identifies with the needs of the followers. I believe that failure to do this will lead to bad followership. Bad followership is a situation wherein the followers seek the possibility of achieving their own goals at the expense of the goals of the organization.

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