Vicki Hinze © 2001-2011
A great leader desires not to lead but to serve.
Effective Leaders possess three essential traits:
Without all three, a person might hold a position of power and authority, but she will never effectively or truly lead.
There’s a verse in the Bible that says: “Without vision, the people perish.” This verse has endured for thousands of years because it is a universal truth for people and for entities.
A Leader must have vision. She must be able to project and envision the current situation and see all the way through a given process to make the journey from here to where she wishes to be. A Leader must have clear sight for herself and her followers. If she does not, she wanders, she stumbles, she flounders, but she does not lead.
A Leader must have courage. Vision is essential but alone it is worthless. It is only when a Leader takes concrete steps to act on her vision that anything can actually happen. Discussion is grand. But it doesn’t do anything. Someone–a Leader must call the question (especially the hard questions), get things moving, and keep them moving.
Because not everyone will agree on anything, a Leader must have courage. She must stand–alone, if necessary–to do what she considers good and right and in the best interest of those who follow her. That is her ultimate responsibility. To act for the greater good because it is the greater good–she believes it with every atom in her body–whether or not others recognize it.
It requires courage to lead. Often, enormous amounts of courage. Because the greatest Leaders are servants. Their goal isn’t to “get” all they can, it’s to “give” all they can give, sincerely hoping their all will be enough to justify their Followers’ faith in them as Leaders.
The most gifted visionary with the courage of a thousand lions is still a lousy Leader if she does not lead through purpose and inspire purpose in others.
Purpose elevates us. It wrings that last drop of energy from us that makes the difference between good and great. It gives us the will to stay true to our course when the obstacles seem overwhelming. Purpose fulfills us.
Great Leaders wear their power lightly. They’re never arrogant. They serve with passion and compassion. They respect themselves and others equally. They understand that responsibility isn’t a coat to be worn only when it’s convenient, but that it must be worn–and fit comfortably–all the time.
Great Leaders understand that Followers fear success as much as failure, and that if they can remove fear and doubt from them, Followers are capable of great things. Leaders expect the best, and because they do, they often get it.
When problems arise, they immediately focus on solutions. When tempers flare, they soothe them. When Followers fail, Leaders lift them up and help hold them up until they’re able to stand alone and move on their own again.
Great Leaders do not delegate. They empower others. Great Leaders do not doubt. They believe and they trust. Great Leaders do not demean. They seek to elevate. When no one else has the strength to continue, great Leaders press on. That steadfastness, that loyalty and faith and service to her Followers, inspires loyalty and respect for the Leader.
Great Leaders are sincere and genuine, not perfect. They make mistakes and admit them. They forgive the mistakes of others. They treat everyone, including themselves, with respect and conduct themselves with dignity and grace.
Leaders don’t have all the answers or even know all the questions. But they’ re willing to seek the answers and call the questions.
“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.” –Benjamin Disraeli
Great leaders reveal Follower’s Riches.
Wisdoms for Leaders
Leaders interact with, know, understand, and defend their Followers. They know their interests, their concerns, their strengths and their weaknesses. They look out for those who feel isolated or “outside” and draw them into the circle.
Leaders hear and listen. They make decisions based on what they believe to be good and right for the majority of Followers, knowing that no decision will be deemed “right” by everyone.
Leaders lead with passion and compassion.
Leaders are disciplined and understand priorities.
Leaders resolve to do the right thing for the right reason–even if they stand alone doing it.
Leaders have an attitude of gratitude.
Leaders praise and encourage Followers, they educate and train them to become Leaders.
Leaders believe in themselves and in their Followers.
Leaders are committed and clear–in their actions and deeds and intentions.
Leaders see with the eyes, evaluate with the mind, and rule with the heart.
Leaders conquer fear and doubt in Followers.
Leaders don’t sweat the small stuff, they appreciate it, knowing the small stuff combines to become the big stuff.
Leaders look at what is and work to make it what it can be.
Leaders make lemonade. They see the problems but focus on solutions to them.
Leaders pay attention, they notice, they bother. Leaders care.
Leaders count their blessings and, when it’s time, let go.
Leaders welcome ideas and new methods.
Leaders are honest, with others and with themselves. They see value in fear and in facing it.
Leaders are responsible, accountable, and expect the same from Followers.
Leaders set examples, live examples, conduct themselves honorably, nobly, with patience and the highest ethics, aware that they’re representing not only themselves but their Followers.
Leaders always seek win/win situations.
Leaders serve. (It’s so important, it bears repeating.)