Leadership is a concept that has existed since the beginning of time. Down through the ages, leadership has touched every aspect of life. Many have tried to find a clear-cut definition of what leadership is and who determines who the leaders are. You can research the internet, books, scholarly publications, or even the bible and find so many different definitions of leadership. The truth is that there is no one clear definition of leadership, however, it can be simplified to an explanation that anyone can understand. Whether it is small child on a playground, or the president of the United States in the white house, leadership still bares similar characteristics in both environments, respectively. Each person displays the ability to exert influence onto the people around them in the attempt to get them to do something or cease from actively doing something. The difference between the two is that the child exhibits natural ability to persuade and influence others. The president does the same, but he also has the benefits of training, experience, and leadership roles to nurture and develop his leadership ability. So, the question becomes what makes a great, effective, dynamic leader who others willingly follow?
Great leaders are those who are passionate about a God-given vision to fulfill some greater purpose within the limited amount of time here on earth that we call life. These leaders use their abilities to influence others to support this purpose and aid in its successful completion. Along the way, there are some key qualities that this type of leader acquires that allow him or her to achieve success. These qualities also allow them to inspire others by providing them with priceless guidance, an azimuth for direction, focus for their purpose, and the fire of motivation that causes them to become amazing leaders in their own rights. These key qualities are necessary for leaders no matter what industry they are part of; no matter what level they currently operate in. Two of those key qualities are compassion and positive mental attitude.
There are countless leaders all around the world who have achieved incredible amounts of success. This caliber of leader usually possesses a significant amount of compassion for others. This is something that has been largely absent in recent times, especially in the highest levels of the United States government. Compassion in leadership is often seen by many as weakness. However, the truth of the matter is that strong, secure leaders have no problem with showing compassion to others. In fact, they often go out of their way to help people in some way manner. Compassion is also the element that causes leaders to reach down to pull others up with no ulterior motives in mind. A complement to a leader’s compassionate heart is a positive mental attitude. No great leader can truly be successful without having a positive mental attitude or strong sense of confidence. This type of confidence is not to be confused with the arrogance that we have seen all too often in recent times. Successful leaders who exude this type of confidence are not afraid to try new things or trust the team of people around them to assist in the completion of goals and strategic objectives. The combination of positive mental attitude and compassion should not be discounted as soft attributes that are only present in professions like clergy, care professions, or academia. These qualities are necessary in every area of life. As a combat veteran these qualities, used in conjunction with several others, have served me well in my military career and beyond.
Being an effective leader requires a lot of training, experience, and development. However, being compassionate only requires having a caring heart; care for the people we work with, care for people that follow us, and care even for strangers. Being a person that can find the positive side of any situation will make people want to follow you because of the confidence that you display. These two key qualities combined can cause an individual to elevate from just a leader to a great, influential leader who people will gladly follow. During these turbulent times, I challenge you to develop the mindset of a dynamic leader. Increase the level of your compassion and reignite your positive mental attitude wherever you may be and watch the level of your influence on the people around your soar to new heights.