This same story has been told in many different ways since the beginning of time. What people look for in a leader depends upon their own needs. Communities of practice can focus on many different domains; religion, industry, products, services, professions, and more. According to a variety of references, academic publications and Forbes articles concerning this topic, there are three basic qualities that are inherent to good leadership.
The three basic qualities inherent to leadership are:
- Continual commitment to becoming more competent
- Comprehensive understanding of team building, and ways to maximize teams
- Clear understanding around the needs of the followers
These qualities cover a very board range of leaders. All of whom have one thing in common, that is the pursuit of something; happiness, success, freedom, and more. Everyone wants something, largely to feel fulfilled in some way. Part of this puzzle is acknowledging our own abilities and utilizing them to face both the personal and professional challenges presented to us.
Do you recognize your strengths and use them every day?
Do you recognized your weaknesses and try to improve?
Upon getting to Oz, what did all the characters learn? Dorothy and her friends learned that they had the ability within themselves from the very start; they just needed a situation to challenge them and someone else to recognize the strengths they already possessed. The Wizard of Oz recognized the strengths of the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Woodsman and the Empty-headed Scarecrow and presented them with awards to commemorate their accomplishments – which increased their confidence and inspired them to change their perspective of themselves.
One thing is certain, that leadership at any level is a challenge that requires different kinds of preparation. To that point, here are seven simple insights that are fundamental to leadership.
- To be able to inspire, one must know how to motivate
- To be able to communicate, one must know the message and the audience
- To be able to connect on various levels, one must practice civility
- To be perceived as fair, one must be open minded
- To be able to delegate, one must know how to enable and empower others
- To be appreciated, one must find ways to be grateful
- To understand the needs of others, one must listen, listen, listen
Many of these insights are appropriate to maintaining any sort of relationship, whether it concerns friends, family, co-workers, management, or even the general public. Leadership can sometimes even be inconspicuous to its host, as Dorothy never called herself a leader, her only wish was to find her way back home. Yet, she would never have gotten caught up in that tornado if she wasn’t running away from home to save her little dog Toto. Conflict is key to every great story; in this story Dorothy was compelled to make a choice about what was most important to her.
Likewise, in the rest of the story entitled “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” (published in 1900), the author; L. Frank Baum, masterfully chose three areas where the other three characters had opportunities to grow. The lion was all about the courage to believe in something and the ability to promote and honor the cause, the woodsman was tired of being cold as metal and only wanted to have a heart and be able to empathize, and the scarecrow was all about becoming knowledgeable; where he thought he had nothing but a head full of straw, he came to realize that he actually knew something. These are the same sort of desires felt by many, as it is a shared desire to make some impact on the world, to contribute in some way and feel some measure of achievement. This desire is also what drives us to lead in whatever capacity possible depending on the opportunity presented.
These possibilities are endless, and the opportunities are everywhere. It is all about the pursuit of something worthwhile; whether it is happiness, excellence, truth, courage, knowledge, or compassion, whatever it is… it is all about attaining it.
So, if leadership is all about the pursuit of happiness, then the other side of the coin must be apathy; or in the words of Shakespeare “to be, or not to be”…because that is the question. Of course, happiness means different things to different people. Different perspectives foster different values. Yet, where it may seem that good leaders are hard to find, in reality they are hiding among us. While some want to work their magic by flying under the radar…as anonymity has its benefits, just like James Bond might convey - sometimes to be recognized for your abilities can work against you - others are raised up by the people who follow them. How did Dorothy gather these followers? They came together naturally as they all had a common goal. So, when it comes to realizing the significance of that whooping 97% percentile, look around and know that you are surrounded by all kinds of natural born leaders.
Don't forget to leave your comments below.