[December 11, 2015] Strong leaders have the capability to rally people to a great cause, inspire others, and lead them to achieve something no one else is able to do. Strong leaders can be controversial, divisive, and even a bit of a rebel … but they have clarity in their bold vision and are pragmatic in their goals. Strong leaders don’t send mixed messages, tiptoe around hard issues, or fail to have a tough opinion on major issues of the day.
It is not surprising when we look back into history that we can easily identify strong leaders. Certainly they possess the same characteristics of great leaders –strong leaders are great leaders too – but such leaders have something else that is hard to define. Strong leaders are winners but not successful all the time. For example, U.S. General Douglas MacArthur and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill were strong leaders that failed later in life at their senior-level jobs.
“A good leader can’t get too far ahead of his followers.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Those that have a solution and can articulate it clearly and forcefully will be that person who is strongest in a contest of personalities. This means that strong leaders are not necessarily forces for good. Many strong leaders have been the personification of evil like Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. The destruction they produced was on a scale never seen before in the history of humankind, but we need to remember that they were loved by many at that time and still today people are drawn to their legacies.
Strong leaders make people’s lives impressively meaningful and empowering. No surprise that they can motivate, inspire, and energize. If we look at the presidential candidate field today among the Republicans, those who are strong leaders have risen to the top. While they may not be the most qualified, experienced, or smartest, they have been able to give no-nonsense solutions to problems.
The United States is less than a year away from their presidential election and its citizens are looking for a strong leader. On the Republican side where many candidates are vying for a position in the top tear, Donald Trump is the favored runner at this point. His recent controversial statements about Muslim immigration have only made him more popular and this demonstrates how a strong and charismatic leader is someone who can be liked when their views are popular.
People like strong leaders. They provide solutions, consistently make the right decisions, and can explain the most complex and difficult issues so that everyone can understand. When combined with the leader making people’s lives meaningful, then we can see that they will favor a strong leader.
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