Saturday, June 22, 2024

What makes a leader?

September 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Feature


JAMAAL McCOY General Manager, Findlay Chevrolet

People often ask, “What makes a leader?”My usual response: “Leadership starts with attitude.”

A good friend of mine lives by the slogan “B+” — “Be positive.” It’s a conscious decision made every day. I am amazed by the impact that attitude can have on our lives; it may be the biggest contributing factor to our successes and achievements. A negative attitude can cripple teams, destroy homes and bankrupt businesses. When we let negativity in, we can become deflated—making it impossible to rise to greatness. A leader must choose to win, because what we accomplish in life is based on a whole lot of attitude and a little bit of luck. How we react to situations and circumstances is paramount to having control over the outcome. Having that B+ attitude equates to having control over our lives.

A leader has to realize that leadership is contagious. People watch the leader, observing what they do and listening to their tone. Everything the leader says or does will teach people what to do or not to do. If others are to follow, then their belief in the leader is essential. If those that follow truly believe in the leader and feel like part of something special, they will inherit a sense of ownership. This sense of ownership grows out of a communal experience; only then will people become devoted, and only then will they create habits that produce excellent results.
Leadership has little to do with personality. Rather, true leaders are ordinary people with extraordinary determination. I consider myself an introvert; normally very quiet, without an over-the-top personality. What I do have: passion, determination, persistence, discipline and vision. I believe if someone combines those qualities with the right attitude, they can be a leader. A leader doesn’t have to be from a certain neighborhood, have the highest educational background or even a certain level of income. A leader doesn’t even have to be highly successful already — because a great leader’s courage to fulfill a vision comes from passion, not position. Success is a choice, and a leader will create their own destiny.

Leadership is the ability to bring out the best in those around us. It is getting extraordinary achievements from ordinary people. To be effective as a leader, one must possess an uncanny ability to look into the future and see the “team” not as it is, but as it should be. Effective leaders will put their people first, because those people will only treat others as they themselves have been treated. Caring about your “team” is the only way to ensure that you can leverage OPE— Other People’s Efforts!

A leader must get to know their people; they must know what truly moves them, as well as be able to effectively evaluate them. Know what their motivation is, what are they passionate about? An effective leader will ask questions such as, “What is preventing them from living the life they always envisioned?” or “If they knew that they wouldn’t fail, what would they attempt to accomplish?”
With answers to questions like these, a leader can determine who a person really is, thus knowing how to help them achieve full potential. A good leader inspires her team to have confidence in her; a great leader inspires them to have confidence in themselves! to have confidence in her; a great leader inspires them to have confidence in themselves!

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