A true leader

A true leader is not someone who tries to be a leader, it is someone to whom leadership just comes naturally. You can improve leadership skills and provide tools to make people better leaders, but you cannot teach the inherent characteristic that makes people true leaders. Those people just come out and shine when the time is right.

When we think of leadership, we think of CEOs of large companies and heads of government. Those people are certainly leaders because of their position and obviously have the power to influence people. Would they be the people who would naturally take over when there is a crisis, not because of their position but because of their nature? Everyday situations make different people leaders and leadership is about the ability to inspire and organize people to reach a common objective. There are leaders out in every community that do not make millions of dollars and we will never hear about.

I saw General Rick Hillier (aka the General) speak last night. He is the former head of the Canadian Armed Forces. A leader by nature and by position. He never talked about his own leadership, but always praised the leadership abilities of those underneath him, telling specific stories of soldiers who were forced to lead under brutal circumstances. His stories were inspirational. He is a true leader without trying to be, he exerts all of the qualities of a great leader yet only wants to talk about his people. Very inspiring and something to emulate.

What kind of leader are you, the kind that takes charge of a situation or the kind that waits for someone else to do it? Do you inspire others to do better or are you looking to be inspired by someone else? There is no shame in either case, but there is a lot of value in being able to answer those questions about yourself.

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