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Leadership 2010

We need leadership today more than ever before in America. We need more courageous leadership from parents in the home…more honest and focused leadership from business…and, more principled and moral leadership from government. The great Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said: “there are three types of people, there are people who make things happen, there are people who watch what’s happening and there are people who don’t have the slightest idea what’s happening.” I agree. In America today, we need more of the people who make things happen. These are the people who are going to take us into the future, and, by that I mean people who have vision and the courage to take the risks that lead to solutions to serious problems that face us as a nation today. This type of leader is the most important type of leadership that we need in America today. This type of leader is called a transactional leader. This is the person who gets things done. This doesn’t mean that they do it all themselves…it means that they get things done with and through others. That is the TRUE measure of leadership. People who are able to get extraordinary performances from ordinary people. They are able to uplift and inspire by words and deeds and get others to share their vision and perform at levels far beyond anything they’ve ever done before. These are the kind of leaders we need more of today.

A question I’m frequently asked is; “Are leaders born or made?” I’m sure there are many varying opinions on this, but I am of the opinion that leaders are made, not born. Clearly, some people feel a strong urging to lead and they seek the people and the knowledge that enable them to fulfill that calling. Talking with great leaders, you find two things are clear. One, they trained with great leaders and learned from them, and secondly, they all considered themselves to be great followers. All great leaders were first great followers. The reason for this is simple. We all have a tendency to become like the people we most admire. The more time we spend either with or reading about the people we most admire, the more we become like them. It’s almost like you begin to absorb the qualities and characteristics of these leaders and soon you begin to talk and act and behave like them. As you sustain these qualities and develop the behaviors of a leader, over a period of time, you become a leader yourself.

Every person has inside of them a desire to be committed to something bigger than themselves. Most however never act on that desire for something. Leaders, however can visualize that something. They can see it clearly and that vision motivates them into action. Leaders are intensely ‘action’ oriented. They get a concept, get a mission and then they literally launch themselves headlong into it. The vision, the passion all serve to give the leader a feeling of destiny and purpose. They see themselves as a force of nature that can’t be stopped. That vision also creates passion in the leader that sustains them whenever they run into opposition and obstacles. They also use the passion to generate followers. I think this is one the definitions of true leadership. The ability to get followers… the ‘others’… I referred to that leaders use to get things done.

If you feel these qualities in yourself or you would like to develop these qualities in yourself…by all means act on it. Your country needs you. The world needs you. Now… more than at any other time in human history

Mack Newton