There is so much talk about what leadership is, and I’m sure I’ve blogged on it before but hold on to your pants because we’re talking about it again. It is not possible to define, definitively, what a good leader is made up of, but we can put a bunch of pretty adjectives together and say here, this is what a good leader should be…I say bullshit.
Good leadership is different from situation to situation; your surroundings will dictate what does or does not need to be done as a leader. In addition, the people around you will determine what is needed of you as a leader.
Does a good leader need to have a college degree? Do they need to have experience? Should they be tough and not back down? Should they be the final decision maker? Are they the idea generator? Should they know how to follow? How about having listening skills? Should they be calm and methodical?
The answer to each one of those questions is: it depends! It depends on all the variables that are going on around the “leader”. Those variables are: the personalities and needs of the employees (or whomever the leader is attempting to lead), the goal, crisis situation or not, and about a hundred other “possibilities” that could help determine what the leader must do, or decide to do.
The key to good leadership, is to be malleable…have the ability to shift and morph in to whatever is needed at the blink of an eye. A leader will have the ability to assess situations and know the direction to take, whether that is asking for help or feedback or taking the reins and kicking ass.
Not everything is black and white, so why do we attempt to label so definitively? I believe it is because we are chasing whatever it is we are attempting to define. In this case people work so hard at defining what a leader is because they want to be a good leader…but another great sign of a good leader would be knowing when to lead and when to follow…wouldn’t it?