[December 01, 2014] If you ask a person what makes a good leader, they will tell you about the attributes of leadership – those attributes that make them comfortable with a person who leads. For example, a common attribute in a leader that people want is good judgment. Not surprisingly, this trait is one of many traits social scientists have found in the study of leadership in large organizations. But what do leaders want? Is this the same as what their employees (or followers) want?
The following is a list attributes that people will tell you they want in a leader. These are the very things often discussed here in theLeaderMaker.com:
- Good Judgment and Decisiveness
- Moral Courage, Honesty, and Integrity
- Effective Communication
- Fairness, Compassion, Stability, and Hope
A question we need to ask ourselves is whether these are the things that leaders want. And the answer is “no,” these are not what leaders want. I will admit maybe they do want these but it is not the main desire or focus of a leader.
More than anything else, a leader wants the ability to rally people to the cause. Everything else is technique. Whether that cause is a simple task that needs to get done like winning a baseball game or more complex like winning a war, good leaders look to the future to get something done. We would hope that such a cause is moral, legal, and ethical. As well, we would wish that the leadership techniques used by that leader is for the betterment of all.
Without the ability of a leader to rally people for a cause, that leader cannot lead. Convincing those that follow that the cause is the right thing to do is the epitome of a great leader. If we look at our political leaders we see them spending a great amount of effort convincing their citizens of the righteousness of their cause. The cause will be labeled many things but the point is that the leader is rallying people to it.
Rallying people to a cause is difficult and ultimately the underlying principle of leadership. This is what leaders want.
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