Leadership is an elusive term. There is no specific training program one can participate in to learn to be a leader. No single leader has all the characteristics that could be emulated to become a leader. There is no finite list of values that defines a leader. So, perhaps leadership is more personal, a positive relationship one person inspires in others. And if it isn’t something that can be learned in the same sense we learn mathematics or science. I believe it can be practiced and developed at different levels.
I believe everyone has the potential to become a leader. But like a muscle, what we do with leadership potential is the difference between being a poor to average leader and being a good or even a great one.
Every industry has many leaders and many more people who have the ability to lead. But now is a difficult time to be a leader, and as a result fewer people are stepping up to lead. It’s difficult right now because leadership requires time and energy many of us think we don’t have.
Over the last three years, many industries and businesses have faced so many challenges that we are exhausted trying to do more with less. We are challenged daily to find new business opportunities. With no end in sight, it’s a difficult time to develop your leadership muscle. But if you don’t, who will?
When you boil it down, there are a few key reasons to choose to lead:
1. At its most basic, you need to be a leader so you can provide for your family and the families of your employees.
2. Being a leader means you will help shape the direction of the industry in which your company competes.
3. Being a leader provides gratification that you are giving back to an industry that has given much to you.
These are all great reasons to become a leader. Think about this though – if you don’t become a leader, will your business survive?