The Qualities of a Leader

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Redwood 35104

Poor leaders develop followers. Strong leaders develop other leaders.

I first heard that principle from one of my favorite leadership trainers, John Maxwell. Unfortunately it seems that we are overrun with poor leaders and strong leaders are in short supply. For instance, it's interesting to look at the current state of affairs in politics. On the one hand there is a philosophy that says "I believe you can do great things and I'll provide an environment for you to do that." The other philosophy says "I know what you need. Just follow me."

So what is the proper use of power?

The strong use power when absolutely necessary. The weak use power because they can.

The strong enlist support. The weak demand obedience.

The strong communicate ideas for the future. The weak operate behind closed doors.

The strong set high expectations. The weak want to keep their followers in ignorance.

The strong inspire and encourage. The weak bark orders and threaten any who "rock the boat".

The strong coach their people. The weak drive their followers.

The strong inspire good will. The weak abuse authority.

The strong inspire enthusiasm. The weak inspire fear.

The strong focus on solutions. The weak focus on blame.

The strong say "let's go". The weak say "go".

Henry J. Kaiser showed true leadership in his statement: "I make progress by having people around who are smarter than I am - and listening to them. And I assume that everyone is smarter about something than I am."

Real leadership requires a combination of strength and humility. I've often joked that if I walk into a room and no one is in charge, I am. Actually it's not so much of a joke but I've learned that the best way to take charge is to enlist the opinions and support of those present. Running a "one man show" is perhaps the greatest show of weakness. Assembling a small elite group to take charge is a close second. Don't get me wrong, leadership is critical. Someone has to be in charge. The key is how that is lived out.

"Authority without wisdom is like a heavy ax without an edge, fitter to bruise than to polish."
Anne Bradstreet

Another test for the leader is their response to glory. "A man who wants to lead an orchestra must turn his back on the crowd." James Cook. Sometimes, as a leader you are required to make choices that will be unpopular. I know from personal experience that some choices a leader makes can be very costly. The choice often comes down to doing what's expedient or doing what's right.

More to come!


Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. John G. Johnston 04/23/2013 03:51 AM
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Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

Good leadershp qualities.  We need great leaders..


Nov 11, 2012 10:23 AM #1
John G. Johnston
John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC - Westcliffe, CO
An Exclusive Buyer's Agent ~ Westcliffe, CO

Larry  Great blog!  I'm reading John Maxwell right now.  I've got to suggest and re-blog this one.  Thanks for sharing.

Apr 23, 2013 03:48 AM #2
Larry Riggs
Century 21 Redwood - Frederick, MD
GRI, SRS Your Frederick County Specialist

John, Thanks for the comment. As John Maxwell says, everything rises and falls on leadership.

Apr 24, 2013 08:13 AM #3
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Larry Riggs

GRI, SRS Your Frederick County Specialist
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