The next few briefings are designed to powerfully address some of the misconceptions about leadership. We will dive straight into the heart of leadership, non-biased and unscripted. It is not necessarily the most popular version of what one would like to hear, but it is the naked truth.

It seems that some people mistake leadership for a person in a position of power, or authority. Although leaders appear to have power, it does not come from control or domination, or designation. Their power is mainly based on their personal prowess (knowledge, aptitude, talent, courage, etc) and the principles they represent.

AUTHORITY VS LEADERSHIP

We have all witnessed colleagues that when promoted to a higher position, pay more attention to the privileges and the perks of the position than to their new responsibilities. Although authority can be handed to someone, leadership has to be earned. In other words, while authority can be appointed, leadership must always be claimed.

The following are some of the fundamentals and core elements of leadership. You may want to consider if you are up to it!

A leader is what a leader does — you have heard the expression: “always pay attention to what you do, not to what they say.” You can’t use lip service as a form of leadership. If you don’t walk the talk, they will not follow. Your credibility will go downhill, and you lose your turn in line. Consider the thought: as you climb higher, you should have fewer privileges and rights. After all, more people are watching.

Leadership does not come with an on/off switch — once a leader, always a leader. You can’t turn it off or take a break. Once you claim your place as a leader, people will always expect your leadership; anytime, anywhere, any place, under any circumstances; no ifs, no buts, and no excuses. Beware — if you can’t stand the heat, don’t enter the kitchen. Remember, people do not extend sympathy to failed leaders. After all, you made them believe you and trust your decisions, and besides — you’re the one that gets paid the big bucks!

Yes, it is lonely at the top — you are on your own but nobody cares how you feel! You asked for it; you got it. The only lifeline you have is your determination and your commitment. You must continue moving forward step-by-step and stick to your values and principles, no matter what. You live or die by the sword. At your funeral, there will be those who say you were the best, those who could care less, and then you just become old news.

You are as good as yesterday’s results — what are you going to do for us today? This is the fundamental daily question. You can’t rest on yesterday’s accomplishments too long. There are more leaders in the waiting room. Do not try to explain, justify or reason yourself. It will not work (maybe…once or twice at most). Leadership is about translating your vision or possibility into specific and measurable quantified results, in reality — and nothing less.

Leadership is not a popularity contest — it is not about whether people like you. Being likable has nothing to do with leadership. It is not about being popular, or about the great personality you may possess, or about your kindness. Although those things can add to the total sum of your leadership, it is really about people respecting you. It is about doing,. doing the right thing, while being true to yourself, and without loss of power, even while sparking controversy.

ARE YOU INTERESTED?

Putting all humor aside, leadership is not a destination or a reward. Leadership originates within you. Leading is like being on a journey without a destination. It is about the present time — right here, right now — and about who you are as a person.

Leadership is what transforms a vision into reality. It is the bold results of your actions that speak louder than the words. It is making the impossible possible, time after time after time, year after year after year. Leadership is the power to create opportunities. 

It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism!