I was walking by a boy who was munching away at a delicious doughnut topped with glossy chocolate goodness. What made me notice this five-year old were the “empty” signals that my stomach was beaming to my mind. Then I spotted him drop his paper napkin into an adjacent flowerbed.
As much as there was an urgent need to sort out my nagging hunger, I managed to suppress it and respond to a more pressing need. Right before me was an opportunity to help this youngster and guide him towards taking more responsibility in life. I stooped down to his level and gently asked him to pick up the paper napkin. But that was not all. I helped him to figure out what to do with the napkin, to find a rubbish bin.
What does this have to do with leadership? It is because leadership responds to HOPE, Honoring the Opportunity to spur People on to Excellence [TweetMe]. Hope is at the core of leadership as it provides the grounds for believing that something good may happen.
HONOR – Leaders need to fulfill an obligation or stick to an agreement [TweetMe]. This is regardless of how you feel, where you are, or whichever excuse that may creep into your mind. It may come at great personal cost, but a leader always keeps his word and sticks to a vision set. “You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.” Aristotle
OPPORTUNITY – Be present in time and place, as opportunity is a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something [TweetMe]. If you are too busy building the big vision, when will you be able to work with your team to realize that vision? “Leadership develops daily, not in a day,” notes John C. Maxwell in ’21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership’.
PEOPLE – Anyone who thinks they are a leader but has no followers is just taking a walk. For people to follow you, they must trust you and feel that you are adding value to them. They must have faith in your leadership. If they can’t feel your heart and see your intentions, you’ve lost them [TweetMe]. “The true test of a leader is whether his followers will adhere to his cause from their own volition, enduring the most arduous hardships without being forced to do so, and remaining steadfast in the moments of greatest peril.” Xenophon.
EXCELLENCE – The quality of being outstanding or extremely good is key to leadership. It means that you are in a state of constant learning and re-calibration; not only to better your leadership, but also to build other leaders around you. Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course [TweetMe]. If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. “Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” Colin Powell