Some leaders are great because we mesh with them on a personal level. Some are great because they generate momentum for their cause. Still others are great because they advance the very paradigm under which their industry operates.
Which of these leaders is hard and fast the best?
Good leaders deliver a power that is impossible to fake. Those they lead are enhanced with every interaction, feel the investment of time and energy from the leaders, and become forces of nature. Good leaders invite Discipleship, and make of their followers Apostles – envoys of empowerment and personal effectiveness.
Can thought leaders do this?
Not alone. We bandy about the term Thought Leader pretty freely – but I’ve grown concerned that because so many people are becoming thought leaders (not inherently a bad thing), finite, measurable leadership is being slowly forgotten. Conceptually, leadership will always have huge merit – but the direct skills needed to lead individuals, or groups, still require a certain personal attention. You can’t learn to really lead without having had a great leader to learn from.
Leadership is important. We should be sharing our leaders with others.
There are some things we can only learn from direct Discipleship – studying under the masters, and finding out how they not only ship their ideals and their work, but how they deliver consistent excellence. Some things, in the same way, we can learn best from indirect study – the way we do when contemplating the work of real thought leaders like Kierkegaard, Tacitus, the Stoics – just to name a few.
So I’ll pass it back to you – who are your great leaders? Those you’ve worked with, or perhaps studied under? Philosophical leaders, direct report managers, executives – tell us all what influence they’ve been on you.
Start now. Recognize your leaders. Here, or elsewhere. Let’s learn together.
Image by Better than Bacon.