Strong leadership is a phrase that can have many definitions. “Leadership” sometimes can even have conflicting definitions. To be able to lead a team or an organization it is essential to understand the basics of leadership.
There are some who define strong leadership as “a boss!” If this is your definition of a leader, then there is no need to read any further. Leadership is much deeper than one individual taking on the role of a boss. In fact, strong leadership is an involving of many people to accomplish a particular task.
Here are a few definitions of “leadership” to consider:
“Leadership is mobilizing others toward a goal shared by the leader and followers.” Gary Wills
“Leadership is influence.” J. Oswald Sanders
“Leadership is getting others to want to do something that you are convinced should be done.” Vance Packard
What Makes Strong Leadership?
When thinking of these definitions of leadership the questions arises: “What makes someone become a leader?” Here are three character traits of real leaders.
First, strong leadership has a sense of a “calling.”
This “calling” urges the leader to pursue a particular task. This “calling” creates a focus on a task that is fueled by a strong urging to see something accomplished or created. Every true leader has a strong creative, almost artistic side to their character. It is almost like an enthusiastic little child who is given a clump of clay and told to create “something.” Every strong leader has a “calling” that they cannot help but share with other.
Second, strong leadership has “character.”
The “character” of an active leader is apparent. People do not have to guess or wonder about a strong leader. The strong leader’s character is laid out for the world to see. No guess work here! The character of a strong leader is seen through daily actions, speech, and overall behavior. Character is an absolute part of the “call.” A “calling” without “character” is obsolete. It has not purpose or value.
Third, strong leadership is “competent” in the task at hand.
When someone possesses the skills of a strong leader, it will be obvious in their abilities. Their skills will be noticed and receive attention from others. They will have the influence to inspire others. A real leader will naturally know how to direct the resources and energies of others to help accomplish the task. A real leader knows that they are limited and cannot do it all. They know how to delegate authority and give it away for others to use. The competency of a leader is shown in his or her trust of others and a willingness to share the responsibilities of the task at hand.
So, the basic makeup of a true leader shows “calling”, “character”, and “competency.”
One final point about a strong leader, they know how to celebrate victories. All work and no celebration will kill any accomplishment.