The most imperative of aspects in corporations, teams and groups is undoubtedly leadership. Leaders are responsible for their organizations. The world constantly shifts its focus to the CEO’s, quarterbacks, mayors, presidents, generals, teachers and preachers of the world. Leaders can solidify the status quo, or they can challenge the norm. Quite simply Leadership is taking people from point A to Point B. It is the responsibility of the leader to determine where point B is, and where the path is that leads to point B. If the results are substandard the leader’s obligation is to adapt their procedures, alter the follower’s methods, or altogether acquire different followers.
Exceptional leadership is linked with long term success. Just take a look at the great sports dynasties of the previous century. UCLA and John Wooden, Duke with Mike Krzyzewski, or the Celtics with Red Auerbach. Didn’t the Packers fare alright with Vince Lombardi at the helm? San Francisco seemed to be ok with Bill Walsh. Great leadership starting at the top is what bred these dynasties. It didn’t hurt having people like Bart Starr, Grant Hill, Bill Russell or Bill Walton around but these teams won with constant player shifting. Take a look at some of the top businesses. The likes of Donald Trump, Jack Welsh, Bill Gates and Rupert Murdoch seem to have their businesses standing the test of time. Sure these guys had great innovations and plenty of breaks go their way, but how many other businesses have watched their fads come and go?
Great leadership is not confined to CEO’s and superstars, it happens everyday. Leaders abound in managers, Girl Scout leaders, union heads, counselors, scientists and parents. It is imperative to recognize this opportunity, for it cannot be taken lightly. Sadly, leadership is lacking today. The average American spends somewhere near ten of their sixteen waking hours bombarded by media. Yet most media emphasize pacifism to our youth. Too many of our youth spend their time in front of the TV or YouTube. Too many of our youth have the notion that one person cannot make significant change in the world. We must emphasize to the generation before our eyes to get out and lead. Lead in sports teams, lead with clubs like the Boy Scouts. Lead with academics. Lead with programs like Odyssey of the Mind and Science Olympiad. For our future generations, the world will be won and lost on the ability of those who can take people from point A to point B.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.