LIFE Leadership recognizes that leaders make a difference. That’s why it’s entire concept is driven from the entrepreneurial premise to fill a void and there is no greater void today than leadership. Leaders make a difference because they are change agents. We all know in our hearts that something is not right in the world today. People are struggling in their finances and relationships like never before. There are deep qualities in each of us that if nurtured properly will develop. Those qualities will make a difference not only in our personal lives but the world around us.
The quality of vision distinguishes a leader. It’s what a leader sees as needing to be different or progressing from their current reality. Vision is a future reality expressed in terms today. Leading change can start in a household. Maybe it’s a better marriage. Change can be in a church where growth is an issue. When sports teams want to change a losing culture to a winning culture, they look for new leadership. Businesses are looking for the best leader as their new hire instead of the one who possesses the best skill for the job. It seems like the world is void of leaders with a vision. With everyone looking for improvements there has never before been such a need for visionary leadership as there is today.
A leader develops a passion for the change they envision. Passion for a different result creates a type of tension in a person, similar to the effect of a rubber band that is being stretched. That tension is pulling the leader toward their vision. You might see a player ignite their team late in the game or you might find a minister inspire the congregation. Passion is not just a feeling. It’s an example of someone acting with strong feelings about what they do. Doesn’t it appear that there is an element of passion that is missing from the world today?
The tension that is created from passion that is ignited from a leaders vision brings about a number of other qualities that are found in leadership. There is a honing or sharpening period that takes place when the leader learns how to become competent in the necessary leadership skills. One big challenge today is the mind - set where people are afraid of failure. They don’t want to look like they don’t know what they are doing or appear incompetent. The whole education system feeds the perspective that failure is bad when in all actuality failure is when learning takes place. Maybe that is part of why there is so little leadership found in the world today? The tension that drives a leader is the gas that leads to another quality called persistence. Persistence is critical because of the adjustment period of development. Author Orrin Woodward describes this transition called “PDCA”, in his best selling book, ‘Resolved 13 Resolutions for LIFE.’ One of the best examples is the story about Vince Lombardi, the Hall of Fame coach for the Green Bay Packers. Vince invested many years working his way up the ranks, taking various positions learning the skills that led to his excellence before he was promoted to coach the Packers. Persistence comes because leaders don’t get exhausted pursuing their vision. They get exhilarated.
Perhaps two of the most important qualities in a leader that brings about influence are integrity and purpose. People are drawn to someone who is doing something they know is right. I snicker at the political T.V. ads as we approach the up and coming elections. Both political parties spend millions of dollars to smear the other person’s character seeking to find any flaw they can find, while none of them are going to help us fix the problem. Why don’t they just put those millions in a food charity for third world nations? Surely that political ad money could be used for someone or something in need. Do the political pundits actually believe they can dumb down the population to the point where negative ads buy votes? The only real thing the negative ads are doing is revealing a failed political system. That’s why the greatest leaders will not come from the political system. Real leaders wouldn’t think of selling their character and principles to a political party run by a financial institution.
Purpose, vision, passion, persistence, integrity, and competence are qualities that make leaders stand out. It’s what is missing in the world today. It’s why every business, team, church, or family is looking for leadership. Ted Engstrom wrote, “Our nation and world today are faced with problems that appear insurmountable. Security and defense problems are staggering. For the most part, our youth, our future leaders, are confused, alienated, and demoralized… Moral standards are almost non - existent. The growing national debt, bankrupt nations, financially troubled cities, and economic instability create more alarm each passing day.” On the other hand as an example, during the Renaissance leaders knew they were alive during the dawning of a new age that would shape the world around them. During that time period, leaders thrived and created new literature, poetry, industry, and art, all evidence of creativity driven from the vision and passion of leaders. Is that what’s missing today? LIFE Leadership would like to make a difference. God Bless, George Guzzardo