Sometimes we think we’re leading when we’re not leading at all. Our leadership has died and we don't even know it. How do we know that leadership has died in and around us?
Our Leadership Is Dead When:
We cease to inspire.
Where there is no vision, people perish. Where there is no vision, things and people die! A leader’s primary task is to know the vision, shaer the evision, and inspire other people to share it. If we’re no longer living and breathing out the vision, communicating it daily in fresh, creative ways, we’re not leading. There is a difference between being a manager and being a leader. It’s subtle and easy to fall into the trap of management mode and mind after the minutia of it all, rather than truly leading the charge. It’s important to keep in mind that most people don’t want to be managed. They want to be inspired. If we are “the leader,” our job is to lead, not to manage!
We cease to encourage.
As a leader, one of the most important characteristics we can possess is the power to encourage those around us. We simply do not have the luxury of being a glass-half-empty person. We do not have the luxury of being a perfectionist. We do not have the luxury of being critical. We must believe in people. We must believe the best about people. We must draw the best out of people. We must proclaim the best over people! We must help people believe in themselves. We must fuel their hope. That’s encouragement!
We cease to empower.
There’s a difference between being an entrepreneur and a leader. Leadership requires someone to lead! Leadership requires a team. John Maxwell has said: “He that thinks he leads, and no one follows, is only taking a walk.” Leaders are not do-ers. They are developers. Leaders build teams and raise up new leaders. If we’re not doing that, we are not leading.
We cease to model.
If we stop practicing what we preach; If we do one thing and say another; If we stop living what we say we believe; If we cease to be a person worthy of being followed...our leadership dies. People will not follow us if they do not believe in us. The most difficult person we will ever lead is ourselves. We lead ourselves to the next level by living out the values to which we claim to hold. To keep our leadership alive, we must live the vision and be the culture we want to build!