There is a lot of literature written about leadership. Indeed leadership is a subject of scholarly discourse, with scholars taking a lot of interest on the qualities and aspect of exceptional leadership. Leadership authors highlight a number of personality traits and behaviours that make up great leaders. Such traits as endurance, hardwood and enjoyment of the job have been constantly highlighted by many leadership theorists.
What is also commonly agreed amongst leadership theorists is that leadership is a long life effort that constitutes efforts that is never recognised and rewarded. It is after overcoming such long suffering in leadership position that finally leaders get to be recognised and rewarded.
Along the course of ones leadership exploits lays potential pitfall and traps that might, and do derail leaders from attaining recognition. What makes the difference is the attitude of leaders on the challenges they face. Leadership is thus an epic journey in which leaders care enough to realise their dreams.
Many young people who intend to be great leaders always work so hard to keep their leadership option open. However, fail to realise that such openness does not guarantee one the chance to be a leader. Great leadership involves making sacrifices. One of the most crucial sacrifices that great leaders make is to make a choice about the dream they want to pursue and make irrevocable commitment to it.
It is after such great a sacrifice that care about ones dreams starts to emerge. Great leaders have not only cared about the realization of their dreams but also how the process of realising those dreams brings change to the society. Scum change must also be for the good of the entire society.
The reason why leaders must care about their dreams is to make sure that those dreams are fully achieved and enjoyable to them and also to ensure that those dreams bring change in the society. Because nature abhors change, leaders must care and love their life changing tasks to be able to effectively bring about change (Badaracco, 2006).
There is a price to pay for life changing leadership. Because nature abhors change, leaders intending to bring change have to go through unimaginable toil and pain, a burden they have carry throughout. A closer evaluation of successful leaders such as Abraham Lincoln reveals that such successful leadership comes at a price. Abraham Lincoln had to go through great struggle every day.
He had to do relentless work that constitutes small, complicated and tasking activities on a daily basis. Doing this task respectively for along time exposes leaders to risks. It has been noted that some leaders have died of health complication resulting from their engagement to their work. Despite knowing the risk their work exposes them to still continued unhindered in the pursuit of their life changing dreams (Badaracco, 2006).
Such leaders despite their suffering care enough about their work and the effects it would bring to the entire society. With time they develop the right character that enables them to stay on course even when quitting seemed to be the best ting to do (Iorg, 2007).
As such they not only endure lessons that come with such hardships but also embrace them as learning opportunities that helps them accomplish what they love and care for most.
Long, committed engagement to a task helps a leader to develop the right enduring and caring character. But how do leaders know whether they have attained the right character that helps them care and love their work?
Leaders can gain insight of whether they have the right caring character if they reflect upon two issues which revolving around accountability. Life changing leaders must reflect upon whether they are accountable to themselves. It is easer for leaders to be accountable to the owner of the companies they run, rarely being accountable to themselves. Caring leaders are deeply motivated from within themselves.
Their personal accountability comes from the fact that they are driven by personal ambitions, goals and interests rather than the interest of the companies that they serve. As such they must also be great leaders of themselves to be able to be accountable to themselves (Maxwell, 2008).
Caring leaders must also be accountable to others. Because caring leaders are change oriented they must be aware of the implications of their actions upon themselves as well as upon other people. Because they care for the task they must ensure that these tasks are meaningful to others too.
Despite the fact that such leaders ought to derive self gratification from the activities they engage in, they must also ensure that other people are gratified too. Those activities must also be helpful to others (Badaracco, 2006).
Great leadership comes at a price. It means that one has to choose what dream they want to pursue. Pursuing that dream comes at a price as it is tedious and full of challenges. To overcome the challenges one has to love and care enough for what one does. As such one will take leadership challenges as opportunities for learning and taking them closer to ones dreams.
Badaracco, J. (2006). Questions of character. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
Iorg, J. (2007). The character of leadership: Nine qualities that define great leaders Tennessee: B & H Publishing Group
Maxwell, J. (2008). Leadership gold: lessons learned from a lifetime of leading. Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc