Sometimes it seems like leaders are like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re gonna get. Some leaders are great motivators and can inspire you to accomplish more than you ever thought possible. Other leaders seem to be in over their heads and struggle even in leading the way out of their cubicle.
Think, for just a moment, about the leaders you have had? Which leaders stand out as the most influential? What is it that you really remember about that person? What made you want to follow in the footsteps of that person?
There are few people I remember as being leaders worth following. For those that I do remember, I don’t recall many specifics of what they said; but, I do remember their personality, how they treated people and how they lived their lives.
If you were to observe the most effective leaders, you would see three characteristics that are common, and essential, to every successful leader.
These are the essential APC’s of a leader worth following.
Your attitude is really how you look at life. It is the mind-set you have regarding life, your position in life and the circumstances of every day life.
I once heard it related to the concept of “attitude” in flying a plane. Basically, the attitude in flying indicates whether the airplane is “nose down or nose up”. Are you looking at life with your nose down – seeing everything negatively. Or, are you looking at things with your nose up – finding the positive side of things and not letting the little things get you down.
A nose-down attitude is self-defeating and is making the decision that you won’t succeed before you ever get started. A nose-up attitude is willing to take on the challenges that lie ahead. A nose-up attitude knows that the journey is just as important as the destination and that failure only comes when you stop trying.
Attitude is very contagious.
Being passionate is like being sold out for a cause, like chasing after something so hard that you are out of breath and gulping for air.
Passionate people are so “into” what they are doing that they let nothing get in their way. That passion produces incredible drive. That passion brings an excitement, energy, and purpose which creates an atmosphere where you just expect something incredible to happen.
Lack of passion causes dreams to fade away. Strong passion will draw people to join the journey with you.
What you are and what you do when you think no one is looking. How you handle success. How you handle failure. How you handle power. These are just a few examples where your character is encountered.
Ethics. Morality. Spirituality. Your character establishes what you will do in each of these realms.
Andy Stanley, in his book the Next Generation Leader, describes character as “the will to do what’s right even when it’s hard.”
Being of strong character is not always easy. But, it is essential in being a leader who will stand the test of time.
Attitude and passion are essential for being an effective leader. However, attitude and passion must be combined with outstanding character in order to be a leader worth following.
Attitude. Passion. Character. Three simple words. Three essential traits of a leader worth following.