I am a leader. Not a boss. I am a servant because I am a leader. And every leader must be a good servant, not a boss.
This great principle marks deeply in my heart as I mature for being a young leader. Even from the simplest task to the most complicated responsibility, it took a lot of time for me to capture the most righteous and the real image of a true leader.
I am a leader because I cause people to follow me. I am not a leader if no one follows me because leader needs followers. I make them follow not because I command but because I inspire them. I inspire them when I let them see that I am also a follower. Because a true leader must be a good follower.
Every struggle in life tests the potential of a leader. All of the experiences that you have strengthen your wisdom and develop your skills as a leader.
There is no such a perfect leader even from the past, but there can always have a good leader like you. And this good leads to be better towards the very best.
As I grow old, I continuously engrave both in my heart and mind the qualities of a true leader. These qualities are based on what I have always learned from my own experiences, experiences of others, seminars attended, and books that I have read.
First of all, a leader must be responsible and never afraid to face circumstances in life. Leadership begins with the willingness to embrace responsibility. Responsibility itself is the very concept of leadership. Once a true leader takes responsibility, he is now facing circumstances. And leaders are made by circumstances. But whatever circumstances that may come along his way, he will not be bothered since he is committed to the task endowed to him.
To begin a work for the group, a true leader is expected to initiate what must be accomplished. He does not wait for someone to motivate him but rather he does it with confidence and belief that there is something must be done. A true leader always looks for the best opportunities to act.
When an opportunity is fairly grabbed, a true leader must enthusiastically set goals. He knows how to plan ahead of time. Planning is very important in leadership. This serves as a lighting torch to guide every step towards the attainment of certain vision. But planning is not set by the leader alone. A true leader does it together with the group. It is done through the effort of every single member as teamwork. Therefore, planning is the organization of all ideas brought by the leader and members towards one goal—the realization of the vision.
In any organizations, communication is something that must never be broken. It must act as an effective link between the leaders and his members. This will be everybody’s clear channel towards understanding and companionship. Here comes the ability of a true leader how good listener he is. He not just talks. He knows how to pause and give enough time to listen for what his members feel and want. He gives sincere considerations to what he needs to know and not what he wants to hear. He knows how to balance different opinions. But remember, one tongue and two ears are not enough for better communication. A true leader must have an open mind.
Harmonious relationship is another key to an indispensable leadership. A true leader must possess a valuable and sensible factor to connect with the members as individuals. His members are not just his co-workers but his intimate friends having different personalities. Learning to recognize them as his comrades will help him lead them. But it is more than the ability of leading them; it is also touching their lives as people. Connect with them by real friendship. The leader can do this by his charisma. Charisma is applied when the leader is seen to be a celebrator of life and bearer of hope. He enjoys life with everyone. It is more than a job, but a life to fill with happiness. He knows how to manage his temper. Every smile in his lips shows the expression of optimism that will draw people to him. It is also applied when the leader is seen to be trustworthy. He is honest and loyal enough to exercise credibility and persuasiveness. He is able to act what he is talking about. As friends, they are willing to give their complete trust to their leader. This will give him affirmation that he can work with them amicably. It is also applied when the leader shows genuine humility. He acts with ease and without arrogance. He respects all the people around him. A true leader never owns all the glory and recognition but rather he knows that success is reaped by the hands of every member through their deep determination and cooperation.
A true leader is consistent to the vision of the organization. He is able to point out his priorities and able to concentrate with it. He is doing his mission assertively with a sense of altruism. He is a firm pillar that supports the aspiration of the group.
As leader and members pass on one plain road altogether, they will expect humps along the way. From the very beginning, a true leader is already committed to his responsibility. He has already prepared himself for whatever hindrances that may challenge his leadership. A true leader is not troubled at all. He is flexible and resourceful. He is equipped with courage and secured with competence in order to immediately trust his intuition based on his wisdom and experiences to face complex issues and problems. He is able to identify the heart of the matter and discern major things. He blames no one.
Leadership is all about the passion for service. It is neither about the position nor promotion. The true leader is not status-conscious. He leads people not because he has a desire to elevate himself but because he is intentionally aware of his people’s needs and always available to put them first before him. The heart of a servant leader is fueled by love through the depth of his concern and generosity to everyone. As mentioned, responsibility is the very concept of leadership…but without passion for service there is no such accountability.
When leaders have already achieved the desired end, it does not mean that it is also the end of everything. A true leader keeps on learning because leadership is a continuous growth of passion. He admits that he does not know everything and he does also commit mistakes. But as a resolution, the true leader lets himself to be humbly taught by his experiences, books, and mentors for gradual development. In political aspect, leadership is not forever. The time also comes when he needs to take over the key of responsibility to other deserving members. But a true leader has no way to retire. It is just the administrative key that he gives off but his dynamic passion in serving others through leadership must ceaselessly be very influential. True leaders are model to be followed. The blood of a true leader continuously flows in the veins of the people who are progressively inspired by his leadership. The passion for service is but forever by inspiring all the people. It must not be ended.
All of these imperative qualities make up the complete package of a true leader that represents an organized team. It does not assure perfect leadership but it does give the true personality of an ideal leader that people want to follow without hesitations. The success of leadership is excellently preserved through positive attitude and self-discipline of the leader himself and his members that define their character individually and as a whole at all times.
You are a leader. Not a boss. You are a servant because you are a leader. And every leader must be a good servant, not a boss.
Everybody has the potential to be a leader. Remember, it is not the position that will give you power to be a leader. It is a passion for service and inspiration rooted by the power of love that will definitely lead people around you into a vision of purposeful living.