BY ED ROBINSON
When you lead people it is important to be true to who you are as a person. Employees will quickly pick up on it if you try to be something you are not. There is no perfect personality profile of a leader despite what many books of the topic would like to portray. I’ve seen all types of individuals thrive under the mantle of leadership. I’ve also seen others who look impressive on paper struggle when they attempt to step up and lead. When you are true to yourself you are more likely to be effective in whatever you do.
Leadership is not about technique. It is about passion, focus, commitment, and persistence.
You can’t fake passion, at least not for not any extended period of time. There needs to be something you tap into that motivates besides personal gratification to accomplish anything important. As the saying goes, if the “Why” is big enough, the “How” doesn’t matter.
Focus is imperative if you want to lead others. You need to know where you are going and the best route to get there. People need a sense of destination and direction. Great leaders don’t make it up as they go along. They follow a clear path to success with a laser like focus.
Commitment is critical if you want to achieve anything of consequence. You can never be partially committed to making a difference or being truly successful. There will be multiple distractions and temptations that will try to derail your progress. You must want it badly enough to stay the course and remain committed to the objective.
Lastly, I’ve seen far too many people give up just before they were about to be successful. Life will inevitably test how bad you want something. Every once in awhile you may get lucky but more often than not you will have to persist in the face of some level of adversity. Everyone stumbles at times. Leaders intuitively now they must pick themselves up and keep moving forward regardless of the obstacles and naysayers.
There is no one personality profile that maximizes a person’s ability to be passionate, focused, committed and persistent. However, I would argue that you can’t fake any one of these things and certainly not the combination of them. When your are true to yourself, genuinely believe in what you are doing, leverage your existing strengths and tap into the natural energy that exists to help you get there, almost anything is possible. Leadership is about authenticity not technique.