Is Effective Leadership an Art, or a Skill? Is it inborn, or learned? If, it IS learned…can ANYBODY learn it? If anybody can learn it…just what is it? A leader is, by definition, someone who is ahead of everybody else. They are winners; they are Champions. Leaders don’t happen by accident; they are made, not born.
These questions have puzzled mankind since the Cave Man Days:
“Just what does constitute effective leadership?”
The Cave man used a club. That was effective for a while…until the next guy brought a spear to the table. The Donkey chased the carrot. That was effective for a while…until the same scam was pulled on a man. So, what IS the State of the Art of Human Motivation and Leadership?
A wise man once said, “Leadership is the Art of influencing someone to do what you want them to do, because they WANT TO DO IT!”
In a word, as John Maxwell said, “Leadership is influence.” Actually, not all influence is effective influence. Effective influence is not fear, or intimidation. Effective influence is not based on deception, or bribery. Effective influence is based on Trust, and Desire.
The Art of Effective Leadership is personal power or, personal leadership (as opposed to agency power, derived from one’s position). Personal Leadership is a learned trait (or set of traits), ones which can only be acquired by doing. One practices leadership, just as a Lawyer practices law, or a Doctor practices medicine. You don’t learn leadership from a book. You learn principles of leadership from a book but,
“Leadership is the ability to apply principles to real-life situations.”
~Gen. George S. Patton, one of the greatest leaders of all time.
Leadership is an Art. It evolves slowly, first becoming a skill…and morphs into an art form (after the requisite 10,000 hours of arduous effort)… the butterfly emerges from the caccoon. Just as in art, no one starts out being a great artist, also, in leadership, no one starts out being a great leader.
Leadership is a personal choice which everyone must make…lead, or follow. A wise man once said, “If you want to be a leader, find a parade and get in front of it!”
If you have the desire to be an effective leader, you must start somewhere…so start where you are. You must start some time…so start now. At least make a decision to be the leader, even a bad one , at first… just start, knowing that you will improve. Set goals. Begin the development and growth process to maximize your powers. Exercise them. Study them. Become the Total Leader: Artist and Architect of Your Destiny!

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