Being a leader can be a tricky thing and not everyone is capable of pulling it off. Most of the time you just end up with a boss or a manager that, up until then, has never managed anything in their lives. It all begins with the top, with the small business owner. Some say leaders are born, others say they are made. The truth may lie somewhere in the middle. It is your leadership, and those you designate to lead, that will be the final measuring stick with regard to whether your company succeeds or goes up in flames. Nothing is more important to the future of your company than who you decide to place in charge. Perhaps some insights from history’s successful may help:
The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.
Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.
A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.
Leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems.
Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.
—General George Patton
All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.
—John Kenneth Galbraith
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
—John Quincy Adams
Lead and inspire people. Don’t try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be led.
Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.
One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.
A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit.
My responsibility is getting all my players playing for the name on the front of the jersey, not the one on the back.
A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.
Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.
Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.
Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position.
The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.
-Written by Kevin Sawyer