“Effective leaders sacrifice much that is good in order to dedicate themselves to what is best.”
John C. Maxwell
For a seed to grow, it must first die before it germinates and springs into life. Life is all about making sacrifices aimed at achieving something worthy. It is said that a ship without a captain is destined for destruction. From managerial competence, integrity, decisiveness, empowerment, sincere enthusiasm, great communication skills, loyalty etc, leaders are not born, but rather made through hard work and sacrifices, which bear the desirable fruit of success. That means that leadership is having the conviction and confidence to make courageous decisions based on the needs of those you lead, which will create a positive impact in the lives of others. Leadership is, therefore, not necessarily searching for consensus but, in fact, moulding the consensus. It goes without saying, that one becomes a great leader based on quality, equality, the fairness of their actions and indeed the integrity of their intents.
Your intention as a leader is not to be recognised, but to be remembered by the footprint you have left behind through your actions. In order to leave that necessary footprint, you must get people from where they are to where they are supposed to be or where they have not been. As a leader, you must be able to translate the vision of those you lead into reality. You can only achieve this by first believing in those you lead and having the conviction that they desire better. By valuing your subjects, you are simultaneously adding value to them. This calls for treating those you lead as if they were what they ought to be; by so doing, you will be able to help them become what they are capable of being. Definitely, showing examples is the sine qua non to achieving this important goal. That would require being the mirror of what you want those you lead to see. Once you see yourself as the mirror, you must use yourself and actions as your basis for comparison – as a judgemental standard, if you want. Your aim will, therefore, be to become a better person and indeed, leader today than you were yesterday. Will the greed be the obstacle towards achieving this? How about honesty, hard work, endurance, integrity? Those are some of the sacrifices (destructions) one has to make to achieve something noble (creativity).
In reality, leadership is not about control, but rather the ability to invest much of your time and energy in leading yourself through principles, conduct, ethics, motivation, persistence, which bear fruit in the lives of those you lead. This way, you automatically produce more leaders – not followers – after you. Effective leadership is, therefore, judged by the results, achieved through sacrifices and definitely, not attributes. With this in mind, you could say that success – whether as a person, leader, or a group has a unique price tag attached to it, which can only be achieved through making much-needed sacrifices. The question, of course, is the willingness to pay the price in order to achieve that success.
Absolutely, life is full of experience – the good, the bad and the ugly; however, the good thing is that we learn from those experiences. On the other hand, the bad or ugly thing is that some of us have refused to reflect on the past to learn from it. In your life journey, you will definitely, stumble upon obstacles, difficulties, mistakes etc. The question is, are you ready and willing to learn from those bad experiences and failures? Unless you are bold – and indeed smart – enough to look back at your failures, bad experiences, mistakes and accept that they are in fact a positive teacher – and if you wish, a classroom – you learn from and make corrections in life, you hardly can make a tangible progress and success in your life and that of others around you – including those you lead.
Are our leaders listening?