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Monday, July 8, 2013

True Leaders


It’s Time - Leading from Within.
Part of ‘It’s Time’ - Corporate Wellness Series. 
Many young adults set out to be leaders in life without ever realizing that they can be leaders in 
their own right, right now, right here, without ever going to university or acquiring a college 
certificate! Leadership is not simply an acquired skill or a talent given to a few, it is about taking 
personal responsibility and ownership of one’s thoughts, words and deeds, and setting an example 
worth following… something you probably won’t find in many high school curricula! 
It’s often said that the best leaders lead by example. They know that whatever they do, others 
seeing them will do the same. If they act with integrity they will inspire others to be like them – 
wise and fearless. Likewise, if they behave badly or take advantage of company assets for their 
personal use, then so will others. 
A leader knows that their motivation is what will motivate others. Their energy will create the 
rhythm and tempo that others will be inspired to follow. He or she will not wait for others to act 
first. They know that in order to push the boundaries of what’s possible it is necessary to stand 
apart from the crowd. 
A responsible leader is in control of their actions, behaviour and emotions. They are able to manage 
themselves from the inside out rather than being influenced from the outside in. He or she is able 
to maintain a calm, cool composure and is able to easily make critical decisions in the heat of the 
moment. 
Productivity at work does not come from providing training and skills workshops, but from people 
who are feeling inspired and motivated. 
A manager does what’s in front of him or her, but a leader is prepared to do what’s right. Leaders of 
influence are guided by their ethics and values. Research conducted by Team Technology in the UK 
asked 4000 people the question: “What qualities in a Leader will make someone follow that 
Leader?” Honesty was cited as the first quality. ‘Honesty is not just about telling the truth, but also 
acting out of fairness and being straight forward in your conduct. This builds trust in the people 
because what they see is what they get. There are no blind spots and the leaders actions are based 
on the truth.’ 
Integrity and humility were also in the list, as was servant leadership – an attitude of serving and 
honouring the people you lead. This contrasts with many ‘leaders’ of today who take from the 
people and do not give to the people. Integrity is aligning what you say in public and what you do in 
private. Leaders with humility will not hold back from giving credit where credit is due – they 
understand that the success of their people is their success also. 
A powerful leader is one who leads by using core, or spiritual values. This can only be accomplished 
when people have become adept at managing themselves. Like an iceberg, most of what drives us in 
a certain direction are the ‘undercurrents’ or the effects of the nine-tenths of ourselves that are 
largely unknown to us – feelings, attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, memories, and desires. The leader 
will be able to manage these ‘nine-tenths’, and take themselves in the direction that they decide to 
go. 
We are leading, i.e. influencing others, at every moment. Not just in the office, but at home, with 
the children, in the supermarket, or on the bus. If we have the awareness that we are on the ‘stage 
of the world’ being watched by many as we play our various parts, then we may just take more care 
to act in the right way. When our attitude and behaviour inspires others to reach for their highest 
potential, then we truly are a leader. 
It’s time - to realize that you are a powerful leader with or without your college certificate! At 
every moment, aim to be an example of inspiration worth following. Learn to manage your inner 
‘nine-tenths’ and in doing so you will be managing your success and the success of those around you. 
If you are honest and transparent you will have nothing to be afraid of!