I would like to consider returning to the subject of leadership. I realize this discussion has come up a number of times recently and the community may be tiring of the discussion. There is an angle that I feel has not been given it’s due, however, and I would like to see it considered. The discourse on leadership has primarily been one of what makes for a good leader in terms of characteristics and how a good leader is forged. This leaves out one important point; what does a leader do once they have assumed the role?
My concern here is that many wish to become leaders and many possess the qualities that are requisite for such a position. Yet, it is necessary for this individual to consider the responsibilities inherent in such a position. As an example, take a look at what politicians must endure in order to pursue their careers. The public and media practically live in their lives. They are picked apart, chewed up, and spit out.
What I am suggesting is that as a leader, you become the focal point not only of the group that you lead, but also of the community in which that group is a part. The leader not only must possess the qualities that have been previously discussed, but also be willing to take on deeper responsibilities.
The leader of any given group must have that groups best interests at heart. They not only become a guiding force for the group, but often must set aside their own goals and pursuits in deference to those of the group. This doesn’t mean they must sacrifice all their personal goals, but that they must find a balance which will often be a sacrifice for them. They must still grow and learn as stagnation will certainly stunt their ability to lead.
A leader must have vision for the future of the organization in which they lead. They should not be the all powerful dictator. They need to be able to listen and understand the needs and desires of the other members as a leader is not only a leader, but is also a participant. They need to make clear the direction the community is heading in.
A leader must possess, and I feel this is particularly important, a strong character and a moral structure that is in symbiosis with the organization. A good leader must possess a charisma as they are the face of the group to the public. They need to have strong qualities that work in conjunction with the group and be able to interface with the public at large. They need to be able to take the brunt of the anguish that will inevitably come from outside sources, often times, upon their own shoulders for the sake of their organization. They need to be able to share the success that occurs with their group and ensure that they not attempt to keep the spotlight for themselves. They should not be of questionable character and should not make everything about themselves, for themselves, waffle, or be contradictory in their dealings with other people, organizations, or with themselves.
This is not an easy road. This is not a path most would willingly go down should they know beforehand the trials and sacrifices that lie before them. Those in such positions should take note of what it means and seriously determine if it is what they want and if they can withstand the pressure and responsibility of such a position. Those who desire such a role should take heed and look at the lives of those who are in these roles. Questions to consider; How does the guiding force of your community compare with what you perceive to be a good leader? If you have desires to become a leader, have you considered how this would change your life? Have you considered the sacrifices you would have to make to become a good leader?
This article is © 2003 ShadowMind. Please do not redistribute or reproduce without the expressed permission of the author.