WHAT IS LEADERSHIP?
Leadership to everyone means different things, however there are generic qualities an individual must possess to be identified as a good leader, Most people have defined leadership as the ability to influence others towards achieving a particular goal. To us leadership is ‘servanthood’ the willingness to serve. however in todays series we are going to be talking about some misconceptions about leadership and what true leadership entails.
WHO IS A LEADER/ MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT LEADERSHIP
There is a lot of misconception as to who a leader is and what the concept of leadership is all about, in a bid to satisfy curiosity, I decided to carry out a survey research, nothing too serious, to find out what people really define leadership as, the responses I got where quite alarming and hilarious.
I’m going to lay emphases on the one particular response I got from a primary school student
I asked an 11 year old boy what he thought leadership was all about, in his words “ a class prefect na”
I laughed so hard, then I asked him, why do you want to be a class prefect (leader). He said, so I can
write names of noise makers na, a very hilarious answer I got from this very fascinating young man, we can see that from the on set the young man already has the mindset that leadership is based on title.
Honestly a lot of individuals are guilty of this particular misconception, we say things like, when I am in power or if it were me on that seat things would be a lot different. You don’t have to be on the seat or have to own a title to make a difference.
Leadership is the ability to influence, it doesn’t specify the position, age or title of the influencer. It just has to do with positively influencing those around you. Later in this series, we’ll be looking at ‘HOW TO LEAD
In the meantime let’s brush through some of the misconceptions about leadership so we can better define who a leader is;
- Leadership is seniority; in most cases most persons would say the older you get the more experience you gather and the wiser you become, well ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to tell you that isn’t the situation , these days we have older people with little or no wisdom fighting for leadership positions all in the name of i cant let a younger person rule over me. Leadership shouldn’t be about age, it should be about capacity, willingness to serve and be taught.
- Leaders are born to lead; This, I have heard times without number, you find people saying things like he has natural leadership skills, he was born that way. Certainly some individuals show early signs of leadership traits, but that doesn’t mean their parents drank some type of leadership syrup or was injected some kind of serum of true leadership for them to be born with leadership powers. Those individuals found a problem and solved it, they found their voice and decided to be heard, that’s how leaders are born, by practice and good morals.
- Leaders are people with a title; This has to be one of the most counterproductive misconceptions of all, often people with titles aren’t leaders and people without titles have the greatest leadership skills. Leading is influencing others to act, it doesn’t require title but it most definitely requires relationship, understanding other people and being passionate about the course.
Now that we have been able to determine what and what not leadership entails we should now be able to define WHO A LEADER IS. A leader is a servant, weird right… A leader is an individual who has the willingness to serve, obey and carry out what it takes to achieve the goals of the organization.
WHO AM I LEADING
As a leader the number one person you should be able to influence is yourself, ever heard of self-leadership.
Yes, in case you’re wondering, self-leadership is a thing, you have to start from the known to the unknown.
How do you plan to influence others if you can’t influence yourself, how do you plan to encourage others if you can’t encourage yourself, it has to start from you first, leadership i mean, you first have to lead a life of love, commitment, discipline before leading others to do so.
Lao Tsu said, mastering others is strength; mastering oneself is true power. You first have to conquer self before you can conquer whatever conquers self.
Self- leadership is the ability to intentionally guide yourself to achieve your goals without tiring out. From this definition of self- leadership we all can see that we all are leaders, most of us don’t hold titles or are born leaders but one way or the other we have to lead ourselves.
In line with all has been said here, let’s do away with the misconceptions of leadership and take responsibility for leading a good life because that way we all can become leaders extraordinaire.