LEADERSHIP positions and capacities are everywhere. However, it is essential to note that not everyone who labels themselves as a leader is an actual leader. Sometimes, their ” leadership ” style isn’t leading the team or guiding them at all. No amount of money, power, or resources will ever allow you to be a leader unless you possess certain skills, abilities, and characteristics—those genuinely needed to lead others in a positive direction.
You see, many “leaders” think once they get the job done that’s leadership. No! The method is just as important as the outcome. I can get the goal and task done, but if at the same time I am forcing my team members, causing them emotional distress, or negatively impacting their performance—is that really leadership? A dictator will probably see results, sure. But at what cost to their team-mates?
It’s hard to mistake a dictator for a leader. In fact, a dictator is often mistaken as a leader because many people don’t often see the difference. Some equate the characteristics of a dictator with that of a leader, because dictatorship is all they know. One of the major differences between a leader and a dictator is that the leader looks to motivate his/her team, whereas a dictator seeks to have absolute/sole power. Simply put, a leader inspires others to implement their visions without coercion, fear, or selfishness.
To be able to lead, you have to put aside your personal agendas and consider the wellness of your entire team. We live in a world today that demands fewer dictators and more leaders. The authoritative leadership styles are slowly changing into democratic ones because people are slowly starting to understand what type of leader they want to represent and guide them.
When it comes to the consequences of one’s actions,a leader has much to be held accountable for. A dictator commands work to be done and often ignores feedback, whereas a leader should be able to evaluate and determine the needs and wishes of the people who follow your lead. There’s a reason why many campaigns for office and leadership posts often emphasize the need for transparency and accountability. Trust is one of the most important factors to consider when in a leadership position. Your team-mates must be able to trust you and your decisions. They should be able to have confidence in you and what you’re doing.
In almost every aspect of life, leadership is required. In church, the pastor is seen as the leader of the congregation. In most workspaces, the supervisor or overseer is seen as the leader of the employees—this is done to ensure that the workers follow through with their goals. In school, sometimes a team leader is appointed to ensure that the group of students completes specific assignments promptly and accurately. The quality of leadership is what affects the entirety of success in a group or organization. I believe respect should always be a two-way street. Team leaders must be able to respect their team-mates at the end of the day to build trust and an overall better bond.
The truth is, hurt people, hurt other people. The fact that “leaders” lash out or spew negatively onto team-mates often means they have unresolved issues that need addressing. My best advice is to ensure you work on yourself and get the help you need before even attempting to take on a leadership role. You can’t guide and inspire others if you’re not at your very best. “Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily, even if you had no title or position”, said Brian Tracy. If only many of the “leaders” in our communities shared the same sentiments—we’d have more effective groups and organizational functioning in our country.