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Leaders Can’t Do It Alone
The term leader is defined as “a guiding or directing head,” which indicates that, as a leader, you must have people to guide and direct. Leaders can’t be leaders without followers.
In other words, you can’t be a leader if you’re not bringing people along for the ride with you. Whoever coined the phrase “it’s lonely at the top,” was not a true leader. There should be no loneliness if you are leading correctly.
As John Maxwell explains it in his Leadership Wired e-newsletter article titled Rising with Your People, a leader is either like a travel agent or a tour guide. Travel agents make your travel arrangements, hand you brochures and even help you plan your daily activities for your vacation; all to a place the have, more than likely, never been. Tour guides take you along with them, show you the sites they’ve already seen, know the best places to eat, sleep and have a good time, etc. True leaders should be like tour guides.
True leaders also shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. Doing so is not a sign of weakness or an inability to do your job. Admitting that you can’t do everything perfectly the first time is not admitting fault, but simply that you are human.
As a leader, you also need to be aware of the fact that you won’t always have a title or official position to match your duties. Being a leader is not about what is listed on your name tag, it’s about the ingrained gift you have to step up in situations and guide the process to completion. Focusing on the position or title takes away from your influence, because you’re too wrapped up in singling yourself out from the rest to truly accomplish anything.
Additionally, leaders shouldn’t single themselves out by being competitive with those that are following them. It’s not about who can do something the quickest or the best. Rather, it’s about accomplishing a common goal together successfully. A leader is there, again, to guide the process, not to complete it all by themselves.
True, successful leaders simply cannot accomplish anything alone. Period.
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