What Makes Someone a Master of Leadership?

How does a person become a Leadership Guru? What qualifies someone to call themselves a Master of Leadership and offer guidance and training to others who aspire to be leaders?

This is a question I asked myself after watching the film Ip Man, which I highly recommend.

He was a kung fu practitioner who eventually became a Master, a Guru if you will.

He didn’t just do this through his expertise, or his knowledge, he had to actually use his fighting skills.

In the second movie, called Ip Man 2, he had to attend a meeting with other Kung Fu Masters, and fight any challengers to prove himself worthy. If he had lost he would not have been able to train others or call himself Master.

That’s not quite the way it works with leadership. It seems that anyone with a domain name and the willingness to write can claim to be a Master, or a Leadership Guru, through their blog, or books, rather than achievements.

Very few of the great leaders such as Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Jesus, the Prophet Mohammed, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, or Nelson Mandela are giving classes, they all led through example, and were written about and now people look to their styles for guidance.

We do have a few practitioners, such as Jack Welch, who not only was a great business leader, but also established excellent leadership development within GE, and wrote and spoke on leadership.

For me, this would qualify him as a Leadership Guru.

There are others, such as Stephen Covey, who have written several best sellers on Leadership, including “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” which sold millions, but if you search the web it’s tough to find any examples of his leadership.

But for sure he is recognised as one of the leading Leadership Gurus.

What is it for you that makes someone a Leadership Guru?

Do we need to challenge and fight other Leadership Gurus, showing our technique is best?

I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

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