Our highest purpose is to make a difference in the lives of others. My mission is to accelerate the development of people so that they may find a way of making a difference in the lives of others, which is also the only true definition of leadership I can find. Simplified I am developing leaders so that they too may develop leaders. This is only achieved by serving others and not in thinking about how we are going to do things.
I have been involved in leadership development from the age of thirteen years old, when I was a Boy Scout. From this young age I realised that leaders are only developed through action and never in the classroom, unless that classroom is real life (which it should be). Even though I realised this, I was probably never clever enough to understand WHY or had never looked at theoretical leadership development in a simple way. Corporates internationally spend billions on so-called leadership training only to find that the results are never worth the resources.
When I recently asked a leadership expert why they concentrate on so much theory I was told the following “when you fully understand all the different types of leadership styles, then you are able to decide which style suits you best and then develop yourself in that style and lead accordingly.” I simply shook my head in shame, because I too believed that bullshit for all these years.
That is similar to watching Formula One – deciding which team is best, choosing that car to drive and then hoping that you and your driving skills are going to win the world championship. We will agree that it is not going to happen and besides: Who would waste that much money? Well, when it comes to Leadership Development, the answer is simple, many people do!
What is the real solution to Leadership Development?
ACTION, yes, simple action. Do you know yourself? If I’m honest I would have to say – no, I don’t really know myself. To find out who you are, the only mirror that will ever truly reflect who you are is people. Only by working with people will we ever find out who we are. The more effective we become in working with people, the more we understand ourselves and ultimately we have become better leaders. Leadership is simply about serving others. Leadership is nothing else but serving others, learning from others as you go and then becoming a better person, which in turn will cause you to gain the respect of others. This is leadership because we cannot lead others, until we understand ourselves.
A few skills can be learnt, however the best lessons come from failing with people. The learning curve with people is phenomenal if we can accept the criticism and challenges that come our way from dealing with people. This process will require action, action and then some activity! I can guarantee if your intention is to be a leader, this is the action that will take you to the land of leadership.
An intention doesn’t need a plan, action is the plan.