Everyone is in a position to lead. even you man
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Everyone is in a position to lead. even you man

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  • 1. Personal Branding Ref: 0019Everyone is in a position to lead. Even youI am not a leader. Period.Im a follower ... and a good one, at that. Im quiet, unassuming, timid, cautious, and decidedly unadventurous. Iavoid the limelight and disdain any kind of attention. I dislike parties. I have the personality of a stapler. Heck, Idont even vote. In short, I just mind my own business.Sound like you?Well, I have some important news for you.YOURE WRONG!Sorry for yelling, but Im trying to make sure I get my message through to you.Oh, you may indeed be quiet, timid, and restrained. I dont doubt that. You may even hide when the mailmancomes. But, believe it or not, that doesnt mean you are not a leader.You probably think leadership is genetic and if your last name isnt Feinstein, Kanievsky - Bonaparte or Giuliani forthat matter -- you just dont have what it takes. "These are born leaders," you say. And here, you are quite right;they probably are, in a sense. But that doesnt mean that leaders are crowned with that title only in utero.Leaders happen to come in all shapes and sizes and wrappings. Put it this way, if you are a teacher (and whoisnt?), you lead. If you are a boss or a supervisor, or in charge of any work operation, you lead. If you are a parent,you lead. If you have friends who admire you, you lead. If you have siblings, you lead. The list is truly endless. For further information on this article and the coaching programs available please contact: Image Group International Asia Pacific Head Office Tel: (+61 3) 9820 4449 E: info@imagegroup.com.au W: www.imagegroup.com.au ©2010
  • 2. But there seems to be a reluctance, almost a resistance to think of ourselves as leaders. First of all, we oftenassociate leadership with charisma. This is unfortunate. When we do that we automatically exclude theoverwhelming majority of people, because how many of us are truly charismatic?And then there is the fear factor. Fear is probably the sharpest double-edged sword in the universe. On the onehand, nothing can motivate a person to do something more than fear can. Just ask the petite mother whowitnesses the horror of her little baby stuck under a car. She still cannot explain how she was able to actually liftthe car and extricate her treasure. Nor could she do it again, if asked. Answer? Fear.But, seemingly contradictory, nothing carries the capacity to cripple and "freeze" someone like fear can. Just askyour neighborhood deer, who can often outrun a Honda when its life depends on it. But more frequently it standsfrozen at 11 p.m. on Route 42 when the headlights of an oncoming Camry bear down on it. Yes, fear. And its thesame way with humans.Fact is, we fear leadership. We see it as a burden we can well do without. We picture ourselves crashing downfrom the overwhelming responsibility that it carries.  "How am I supposed to guide others when I cant get my own life together?"  "Ill be exposed as incompetent, unqualified, and uncaring."  "Decision-maker? I have trouble deciding which shoes to wear to the office!"  "The pressure would be too much to bear."  "I will fail."And the fear is compounded when we picture ourselves on the hot seat, alone at the top, comparing ourselves toWorld Leaders and CEOs of major corporations, as if all leaders are rich, famous, or powerful.The essential trait to great leadership is compassion.Well, the good news is that you need not be Moses or Queen Esther to qualify. You can just be ... well ... yourself.Yes, with all your insecurities, imperfections, anxieties, and stapler personality. You are still not ineligible.The one and possible only trait that is essential to great leadership is compassion. It is very hard to affect anyoneelse without feeling a certain measure of caring for another person. It is, I believe, the single indispensablecharacteristic that truly unites all leaders. (Notice, if you will, that I am not including the Hitlers, Stalins, andHusseins of the world, whose "leadership skills" were channeled exclusively in forming oppressive and tyrannicalregimes.)All truly great leaders throughout history felt a compelling desire to better the lives of others: globally, communally,or personally. And that desire was an expression of the sense of compassion that resonated within them, no matterwhere lifes circumstances took them or how turbulent the storms they weathered seemed to be. For further information on this article and the coaching programs available please contact: Image Group International Asia Pacific Head Office Tel: (+61 3) 9820 4449 E: info@imagegroup.com.au W: www.imagegroup.com.au ©2010
  • 3. Biblical Joseph best exemplifies this phenomenon. After having been sold into slavery by his brothers, he findshimself incarcerated in Egypt: bereft and alone. But as the narrative so brilliantly relates, the events that lead to hiseventual release from prison and ultimate rise to power and reunion, all begin with Josephs startlingcompassionate initiative.He had already been in jail for nine arduous years. The despair and resignation that swells in intolerable conditionssuch as those is, undoubtedly, unimaginable. And yet, Joseph meets up with two fellow prisoners and asks them aseemingly odd question."Why do your faces seem depressed today?" (Genesis. 40:7)What does he expect to see on their faces, glee? Who inquires of inmates the reason for their foul mood? Onlysomeone with unusual capacity for compassion. And his subsequent reward is a shocking promotion to a positionof unparalleled leadership.No leader really sets out to be a leader. People just set out to lead their lives, expressing themselves fully.When that expression is of care and value, they become leaders.No, it is not as simple as I am stating it. Compassion is indispensable, but you also need desire too. And thatusually comes only after you have actually tasted the rush that leadership brings.The special characteristics that define leadership are perhaps best summed up by Warren Benis, a world-renowned expert on organizational development. He has authored 27 books on leadership. He cites 12 distinctionsbetween managers and leaders:MANAGERS LEADERSAdminister Innovate.Ask how and when Ask what and whyFocus on systems Focus on peopleDo things right Do the right thingsMaintain DevelopRely on control Inspire trustHave a short-term perspective Have a longer-term perspectiveAccept the status quo Challenge the status quoHave an eye on the bottom line Have an eye on the horizon.Imitate OriginateEmulate the classic good soldier Are their own personCopy Show originality For further information on this article and the coaching programs available please contact: Image Group International Asia Pacific Head Office Tel: (+61 3) 9820 4449 E: info@imagegroup.com.au W: www.imagegroup.com.au ©2010
  • 4. So remember, you dont have to be Napoleon, King David, or especially great at anything at all.Just be yourself and feel a little compassion.It happens every day.Source: Yaakov Salomon Author of Salomon Says: 50 Stirring and Stimulating Stories . For further information on this article and the coaching programs available please contact: Image Group International Asia Pacific Head Office Tel: (+61 3) 9820 4449 E: info@imagegroup.com.au W: www.imagegroup.com.au ©2010