I always see people discussing what it takes to BE a good leader, but that is often followed with debate, over-analysis, and argument about the adjectives you need to be in order to be a GOOD leader. Can leadership be taught? Are you born with it? Blah blah blah!!!
Leadership is subjective like anything else. You may define person A as a good leader but in my experience of person A is that they’re an utter failure. Does running a $100 billion business make you a good leader? Not always because we’ve seen companies like that collapse.
Whether it’s a business leader, a political leader, military leader, or a Boy Scout leader; there are certain characteristics you must have, obviously, but is it black and white…HELL NO!!! So why do we sit around over-analyzing such things? Well, seems to be something humans enjoy doing…talking shit to death!
My humble, meek, unimportant opinion is that GOOD leaders know what to do and what not to do in the millions of situations that they face. All situations call for something different and all people require a different approach…and being able to figure all those things out is what makes a good leader.
There is not a definitive, “here’s how you HAVE to be” definition that can contain and describe a good leader. Again, this topic, like almost all in the world, are NOT black and white. So live and let live!!
Cheri Allbritton says
Whoa…back in January you were irked because your town reelected a mayor who you described as having: no passion, energy, excitement and lacked morale building skills. You had a definite ‘Matt’s idea of a leader’ then, so what happened? Now it’s not black and white and we over analyze it’s meaning and we should live and let live!! Well darn it, you got me a little excited. So I hit Google and typed Leadership. You’re right, everyone has his own opinion as to what the definition of a leader is. Some quote characteristics, some quote traits and many mix up the two. Some have 5 steps, some have 10 steps and even 12 steps. The more steps, the more confusion! So I listed them out side by side to see if I could extract common characteristics (after all, I have my own idea about what the key traits of a leader are, heck I am a leader in the workplace.) So for fun Matt…here is the you, me and everyone else’s idea of a Leadership.
Matt’s idea: passionate, energetic, exciting, morale builder, have a plan, interpersonal skills
Cheri’s idea: intelligent, calm, interpersonal skills, organized, visionary, self knowledge
Everyone else’s key components: competent, inspiring, strong interpersonal skills, self awareness, calm
Hmmmm, all kind if similar but not exactly. So Matt maybe you’re right. Maybe there is no definitive, “here’s how you have to be” to be a good leader. That must be why there are so many books about leadership on the market. Everyone’s still trying to figure it out!
LOL, Cheri, I guess what I am finding is that I am evolving and changing as new things come into my world. I’m not a fan of over-analysis, although I am guilty from time to time. Over analysis can lead to paralysis, and can eat up time without actually doing anything. I know there are times that require analysis as well.
I love your point about all the books in the market place, and the same goes for speakers…who each promote different characteristics.
Regarding my town mayor, the thing that irks me is his lack of energy or passion, outwardly which helps motivate his “followers”. That’s my main beef with him. But your side by side of adjectives can also bring about recognition of just how vast the characteristics of a good leader really can be. Similar but different.
This could be a great ongoing series for a blog…which I am sure has been done already, lol. Leadership and the evolution of leadership. Attempting to define it simply, but with meaning.