[December 16, 2016] One of the many advantages of being a senior military Flag Officer is that you get to meet some of the most talented people in the world. Whether it was a business entrepreneur, religious figure, or political leader, our senior military personnel have met them to exchange ideas. What many of us discovered is that all those people were extremely smart, gifted, and great at seeing opportunities but only a few were exceptionally good leaders.
Why that is the case may be of interest but doesn’t help identify or solve the problem. How could it be, rhetorically asking of course, that such talented and success individuals could lack some of the more fundamental traits of leadership? They have the social skills, the capability to learn quickly, and often possessed the time and motivation to improve.
“When you cease to dream you cease to live.” – Malcolm Forbes
The entrepreneur myth is that all of these talented professionals are leaders in their own right. But we know that not to be true and that is why I call it a myth. It is simply a fairy tale to tell ourselves that just because we are on top of our game or the best and most skilled in our organization, that we are a leader.
Some have said that the key to successful leadership is knowing that your dreams can come true. Regardless of life’s obstacles and those pesky surprises in life that sets us back, only the real dreamers have the staying power to persevere. Someone once said that whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve. Ah, one of those life’s lessons.
Only in our dreams can we be truly free of the constraints of the everyday world and once we are free to see, then and only then can we begin our journey to convincing others to follow us. When we are able to persuade people to do things they would not ordinarily do and inspire them to dream, then we have become a leader. The rest is just improving on that talent.
[Don’t forget to “Like” the Leader Maker at our Facebook Page.]