For about 150 years, leadership has been studied, and several studies have revealed that there are a number of definitions of leadership as well as many leaders in all walks of life.
We can all agree that one excellent definition of leadership is “the art of leading others to deliberately create a result that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.”
Effective leadership is the key to success for any business as well as for any community or nation to move forward and achieve sustainable success, prosperity, and progress. History has shown many inspiring leaders as warriors, scientists, politicians, intellectuals, diplomats, and entrepreneurs.
So, many people are still willing to dig deep to find out what made some people in history great leaders of their time. What are their common traits? And what makes people align with them and label them as “leaders”?
It is commonly known that all leaders, regardless of the difference in the environment in which they operate, share common traits of vision, autonomy, self-awareness, self-direction, ability to motivate, social awareness, and responsibility.
But, from a personal point of view, real leaders are the ones who know very well the way and are capable to show the way and go the way.
Most importantly, it’s those who believe that leadership is not about themselves but the people and communities they serve.
In other words, it’s those who understand that leadership is not just the creation of good results that makes a good leader, but instead, those who can create challenging results by enlisting the help of others on top of their achievements.
Real leaders should always be authentic and skilful role-performers with the capacity to turn failing companies into fortunes for themselves and their societies, which can positively change first their values, attitude, behaviours, way of thinking and those of their communities for positive change.
For instance, Einstein, Ford, Martin L. King Jr, and Gandhi among others, were the greatest leaders of their times not only because of their charisma and intelligence but also because of their profound sense of social responsibility.
They were humanitarians who believed passionately in social justice and who often championed causes they deemed worthy of their support.
Moreover, we should also believe that great leaders are born and made.
William Wordsworth said in his famous poem “The child is the father of the man.” This expression means that all our positive and negative traits are established when we are young and hence early life experience-including nutrition, hobbies, and all the activities we are exposed to day-by-day- create the leadership styles that will last for eternity as the experiences of Henry Ford or Albert Einstein demonstrated.
After having discussed the concept of leadership, the traits, and the achievement of great leaders, we come to a unique conclusion that great leaders irrespective of the field in which they operate are too self-aware and they have no limit in their vision.
But, a great deal of leaders’ success is back to action, hard work, and perseverance to inspire, motivate, and gain the trust of others to work cooperatively to achieve the defined vision and goals regardless of how difficult it may happen to be.
In Henry’s own words, “A vision without execution is just hallucination.”
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