We should all ask the question “why am I in leadership – what is my purpose?” All leaders lead from their heart whether good or bad. Motives reside in the heart of an individual. Here are some questions to ask yourself to expose which motives are resident.
Are you interested in
- Giving or receiving
- Title or function
- Serving or being served
- Power domination or participating as an equal
Depending what motive profile you expose by these questions will determine your ability in effectiveness. It exposes whether I will force people to do, or do they willingly do. In business, government, or religious associations, treating others as you want to be treated becomes the determining attitude creating a culture that flourishes with unlimited possibilities. Ask yourself one more question – if I worked for me, was a citizen of my leadership in a nation, would I appreciate that kind of leadership. In other words, imagine being the kind of leader you would want to follow.
The quality of leadership is determined by the impact you are making through the culture you grow, or allowing through the values you live. Culture is an incubator where things grow and are produced. Our leadership qualities, such as how we do things and the principles we operate by, create a working environment or culture. If I am principled as a leader, that places an expectation and demand on everyone within my sphere to come up to that level and operate as I do. In other words, I set the standard of what is acceptable or not. Believe it or not, our principles provide the parameters for vision to be achieved. Immoral behaviors like lying, cheating, back room secret deals, underhanded and questionable practices, will derail effectiveness and stall progress. However, principled behavior like honesty, transparency, and emanating value to others, will keep the channel clean from detours and unnecessary distractions which in turn will speed the process efficiently towards the expected goal.
Leadership is truly a heart issue. Despots in the world rule as tyrants and epitomize selfishness. They are selfish at heart and have no ability to mobilize people of their own free will. They resort to domination and suppression to force citizens to do what they want and not the people’s desire. A Saddam Hussein was wicked in deeds because he was wicked in heart.
Finding a leader who treats others the way he/she wants to be treated is a precious commodity. Its what we call a servant leader. One who values others as equals and truly desires to see others benefited and lives being improved. Leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Abraham Lincoln, to name a few who fit the description of such a leader.
Robert Greenleaf said:
A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid,” servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.