Leadership Mentality (the final installment)

In the previous installment, we’ve tackled more on what goes on in a leader’s inner feelings and inner engines. And now we are going to top them off with three more concepts and principles that make a leader.

A leader starts with the end in mind.

People are attracted to someone who is a visionary and someone who has already seen the goal. And even if there will be no person following him, that is immaterial to the leader. He has seen it and he is out to get it. Let me illustrate this to you by sharing with you a story:

One day a dog was running frantically and people in the area noticed him running very fast to and fro, over here and over there and up and down—what have you. Soon enough, dog #2 came and ran with the dog #1 and he was also a very serious dog and with tongues out, he kept running and following dog #1. After a while a third and a fourth dog came and barked and got excited and they saw two dogs running around and so they joined in.

Soon enough there were about 20 dogs running around in the same direction, changing directions when dog #1 changed direction and they did that for a while. Then dog #20 suddenly realized and asked, “What am I doing this for?” and so he stopped and just watched the other dogs running. Soon enough, dog #19 also felt the same thing, and so did what the other dog did and so did dog #18. The 17 dogs soon became only 11 dogs, and then it dwindled to 7 dogs and then until there were only 2 dogs left—dog #1 and dog # 5 (dog #2 already stopped with the others). But alas, dog #5 also realized that he could not see the point of running. So he also stopped, until it was only dog #1 who was still running.

He ran and ran with his every strength until at the exact moment, he stopped because he had already caught what he was running after all this time. He caught the rabbit that he was pursuing for hours now.

Dog #1 was the only one who saw the end in mind. Yes, the other dogs became excited because, naturally people (or dogs) will be attracted to people who are excited, but if they don’t see the same vision or the same goal, people will really give up eventually.

Dog #1 was the only who saw and so he did not stop.

When you run with a leader, remember that he has seen something. You better know what that is and then own that something as well if it rings a bell to your own life. If not, you better stop now, because what’s the point of running with your tongue out? :)

Leaders don’t tell people what to do.

Because chances are, they will not do it. Remember, people do what they want to do. And you can never change that. So how does the leader “let” people do what he invites them to do with him?

He shares the vision.

Fitting the story above to our human condition, I’m sure that a leader can talk with people and can tell them whatever, right? A true leader shares the vision that he sees with his fellow leaders. He is not insecure about it. He pre-qualifies leaders and see if they are worth his time for him to mentor them.

He knows that he can never tell people to do what he wants to do. He shares the vision, and if the other leaders under him share the vision and own it, then he only has to tell them how to do it and they will.

A true leader builds high trust

Leadership is basically a relationship. And trust is very important in any relationship so you need two keys here so that you can build a high trust relationship:

1. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Leaders are people who genuinely empathize and feel how their people feel. And they are not slow to show it. He even declares it and shows it and speaks it when appropriate. He helps them not only with the business but also in other areas of the persons’ lives. He is there not to instruct them, but to show them that he is a person they can trust and be confident with. He is generous with his time and he is a person whom people can count on.

When they meet in a business meeting, the leader asks about family, how the kids are, how the sick parent is, etc. He is not there to ask about the business—that will be tackled in the meeting itself. But the leader is genuinely concerned about the life of his fellow leaders. And he is happy to be able to see a glimpse of those lives he is mentoring.

2. Confidence is key to high trust. People can know that you care, but they also need to know that you are indeed competent in the field you are in. They need to be confident that you can do and that you can lead them. Technicalities are also important, incase you’re missing it. These things all add up to the fact that you need to also equip yourself as a leader of leaders. You need to be a stop or couple of steps ahead of them.

So there you have it guys, three installments to the life of a leader. And okay, I know that these are not the only things that make a leader. Of course, there are others still that we can add to the list. Precisely. What is the point of me wanting you to comment on these things? :)

Let us all learn from one another and you are welcome to share your thoughts with us. Besides, you may already be living these principles in your life. You are welcome to share what you’ve experienced so far.

Your thoughts

So please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with us.

Let us all know in the comments!

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

About the Author

Stephen NellasStephen is part of the Software Jewel team, the company behind Clutterpad and BiP. He's also a regular author for BiP.View all posts by Stephen Nellas →