What will we, as voters, be looking for when we cast our vote in the next presidential election? Will we be voting for the next "leader" of the free world or the next "manager" of the free world? Regardless of political affiliation, I think it's safe to say we want a leader, not a manager.
In the business world, does a CEO have to be well-versed in the details of how his or her employees perform their particular jobs? Or, does he or she have to know have to know "why" they are doing what they are doing, and what the end result will be? The answer is clear. The leader provides the vision, the "reason" everyone is doing what he or she doing.
True leadership is not easy to define, but the absence of it is immediately apparent. When there is a lack of leadership, the symptoms scream out to us. All kinds of bells and whistles go off. It can be anything from the complete failure of the company you work for, to the contractor not showing up to finish a job at your house.
What can you do about all of this? YOU can give more conscious thought to the concept of leadership, and the result will be more real leadership in your life, and in our society. Here are three things you can do this week. Pick one new leadership book and read it cover to cover. Identify one person whom you regard as a real leader, and pick his or her brain over lunch or dinner. Finally, take the time to talk about leadership with someone who is not as far along the path as you are, maybe a teenager or new worker in your organization. Doing these three simple things, on a regular basis, will dramatically change where you'll be in one year from now, in so many ways.