1. The only definition of a leader is someone who has followers.
Some people are thinkers. Some are prophets. But roles are important
and badly needed. But without followers, there can be no leaders.
2. An effective leader is not someone who is loved or admired. He or she is someone whose followers do the right things. Popularity is not leadership. Results are.
3. Leaders are highly visible. They therefore set examples.
4. Leadership is no rank, privileges, titles, or money. It is responsibility.
Regardless of their limitless diversity with respect to personality,
style, abilities, and interests, the effective leaders I have met,
worked with, and observed also behaved much the same way.
1. They did not start out with the question, “What do I want?” They started out asking, “What needs to be done!”
2. They asked, “What can and should I do to make a difference?” This has to be something that both needs to be done and fits the leader’s strengths and the way she or he is most effective.
3. They constantly asked, “What are the organization’s mission and goals? What constitutes performance and results in this organization?
4. They are extremely tolerant of diversity in people
and did not look for carbon copies of themselves. It rarely even
occurred to them to ask, “Do I like or dislike this person?” But they were totally – fiendishly – intolerant when it came to a person’s performance, standards, and values.
5. They were not afraid of strength in their associates.
They gloried in it. Whether they had heard of it or not, they motto
was what Andrew Carnegie wanted to have put on his tombstone: “Here
lies a man who attracted better people into his service than he was
6. One way or another, they submitted themselves to the “mirror test”
– that is, they made sure that the person they saw in the mirror in the
morning was the kind of person they wanted to be, respect, and believe
in. This way they fortified themselves against the leader’s greatest
temptations – to do thing that are popular rather than right and to do
petty, mean, sleazy things.