“The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” —Warren Bennis
Let’s face it, some of our children seem born with a disposition of dominance. They want to be the one leading the pack, in charge of making progress and getting things done.
Does the desire to be a leader make them one though? Does standing at the front of a crowd or walking at the front of the line, really make you the head man?
I have often found that the most efficient and well thought of leaders, are not the ones who seek authority. Natural leaders come by their position due to hard work, diligence, and a desire to help others. It is this desire to reach out to others (to be a servant, in fact), which causes them to actually be followed.
I would argue that great leaders are made, not out of a natural tendency to control, but a heartfelt, burning desire to bring about change for the good. Truly great leaders do not have to push, cajole, or argue to get people to follow them; they simply act and allow people to come along side them and share the work.
To this end, our pastor asked those involved in ministry at our church to read Be A Motivational Leader, by Leroy Eims. In his book, Mr. Eims lays out the qualities one should expect to find in a good, moral leader and how we might go about gaining them in our own lives. (I would add, we can also instill these characteristics in our children; the leaders of tomorrow.)
Some of the qualities listed seem quite obvious: be responsible, exemplary, efficient, decisive, competent, and a hard worker. However, there are a few others which one might not associate with good leadership: be a growing leader (not one who refuses to do things “as they’ve always been done”), inspire others, communicate well, and unify those who serve with you.
While each of my children display various leadership characteristics, they still have a great deal to learn. (Let me clarify that by saying I am NOT there yet either; just a little further along than they.)