Leadership = Commitment
Merriam-Webster online gives three definitions for a leader: something that leads, a person who leads, or a horse placed in advance of the other horses of a team. The first definition could mean your pants go on before your shoes. The third definition, well honestly, could be a politician of either party. However, what I want to focus on is the second definition: A person who leads.
We tend to believe that leaders are ordained by their title or position within an organization. A General, a CEO, a manager are all given the mantel of leading and are bestowed with leadership virtues once they assume their roles. They immediately possess the skills, compassion, and inspiration to lead their teams to the promise land. In essence, the title alone is sufficient. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.
First, there is not a cookie cutter approach to leadership. Every situation, every group or individual, and every challenge requires a different variation of leadership skills. Should the leader be firm? Should they be compassionate and empathetic? Should they be hands on or let their team learn and grow by facing the challenge? Unfortunately, there is not a one size fits all answer. However, there is one constant to being a successful leader; commitment.
Commit with everything
To be a successful leader, you can’t simply read a view blogs, watch some videos, or read a self-help book and think you’re there. You must commit to it with your heart and soul 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. A successful leader knows that the nitty gritty work occurs before and after the team meeting or goal setting. They know that they have to constantly look for ways to inspire their teams, show compassion for their people, and at the same time drive towards mission accomplishment. Once they put on that pack, there is no setting it down.
If you have found yourself in a leadership role or you have been selected to one, ask yourself these three questions. “Am I fully committed?” “Will I do everything and anything to set my teams up for success?” “Am I ready to be that inspirational force of the team.” If so, then you are well on your way. If not, then you have some soul searching to do. As the great Vince Lombardi reminds us, “Most people fail not because of a lack of desire, but because of a lack of commitment.”
Commit to the destination. Commit to your leadership role. Commit to your teams. Success will follow.