INSIGHTS INTO THE PRINCIPLES OF LEADERSHIP
Everyone loves or hates a leader, but no one ignores him or her. Some at an early age have the aptitudes to lead — others study to become.
Learning the art of leadership takes a large portion of our lives; so here at IBC, we are endeavoring to teach the principles of leadership, hoping to give our potential leaders a head start.
Five members of this enthusiastic class have put together a five-chapter booklet. So we invite you to take a quick look into the classroom — and sample “The Principles of Leaders.”
O. C. Marler
THE EXEMPLARY PROCESS
Being an example as a leader is very important. Setting the right example can give a more powerful impact on people than any other thing that you do. The example a leader sets, whether good or bad, will be the guide by which followers will measure their own performance.
In setting the example, the leader must be totally committed to the job he is doing. You cannot let down in front of your people. If they see you take undue breaks or show a lack of concern, they will pick up on that and before you know what happened, they will always find a reason to take it easy. Their sense of concern or urgency to work hard will be greatly reduced. This commitment means doing more than you are asked, going beyond the call of duty.
Your attitude as a leader will spread very quickly. It is important that you always keep a cheerful, pleasant attitude around your people. A good attitude through a difficult time will inspire those around you; the difficulty will not seem so great.
The greatest example a leader can leave is to show the people that you are human. When you make a mistake, be willing to say “I made a mistake.” You are not God either, situations will arise and you will not have all of the answers. Be honest; don’t be afraid to tell someone, “I do not know.” The worse thing you can do is make something up or to try to cover up a mistake. Those around you will find out and then resent you and lose confidence and trust. When you make a mistake, apologize for that error and you will gain respect from people.
One thing a leader must always keep in mind is that all people are created equal. It is not wise to participate in racial, religious, or sexist jokes. Even the hint of prejudice of any type has no place in a well-run organization.
Keep an open mind; criticism can sometimes greatly aid you in whatever you are doing. Criticism should be looked at as information to either be used to better yourself or to simply reject. By considering criticism, it is possible that you may improve your performance.
A great leader who, by example, influenced the people under him, was George Washington. It was during the winter camp of Valley Forge that his example was the hope of the soldiers. The number of sick and of the dead continued to grow and Valley Forge became an unbearable nightmare. A committee from Congress was shocked to see how many “feet and legs froze till they became black”, and it was often necessary to amputate them.
This is what Washington had written about the situation. “No history can furnish an instance of an army’s suffering such uncommon hardships as ours has done and bearing them with the same patience and fortitude. To see men without clothes to cover their nakedness, without blankets to lie on, without shoes (for the want of which their marches might be traced by the blood from their feet) . . . . and submitting without a murmur, is proof of patience and obedience which in my opinion can scarce be paralleled.”
During this time a civilian named Joseph Stoudt would write in his diary: “For some days there has been little less than a famine in the camp . . . . Naked and starving as they are, we cannot enough admire the incomparable patience and fidelity of the soldiers, that they have not been excited ere this by their suffering, to a general mutiny and dispersion. Indeed, the distress of this army for want of provisions is perhaps beyond anything you can conceive . . . .”
How did the soldiers maintain their patience and obedience during such terrible suffering? What kept them from giving up? The answer is in the example of their leader. The reason they could endure through such suffering, and believe in God’s deliverance was because their General did believe that God would deliver them.
EXAMPLE — it’s a big word to follow, for it covers every part of your life. Without being a proper example to the people under you, you are cut short from reaching your full potential as a leader. Be a leader, and set the example for others to follow.
– Jay Myers
Men and women who have most powerfully and permanently influenced their generation are those who can see further than others – those with a vision of what can be. The most successful leader of all is the one who sees another picture not actualized. Outstanding leaders are future oriented. They love to dream about what could be, and involve others in their dreams.
The art of leadership can be defined in many different ways. Harry Truman’s definition was, “A leader is a man who has the ability to get other people to do what they don’t want to do and like it!”
Vince Lombardi once said, “Coaches who can outline plays on a blackboard are a dime a dozen. The ones who succeed are those who can get inside their players and motivate them.”
A leader is a visionary that can inspire others to buy into their vision, They energize others. This definition of leadership has two key dimensions: creating a vision of the future, and inspiring people to make the vision reality.
Those who create lead. Fredrick W. Smith had a vision in the early 1970’s of an air express system that would provide overnight and nationwide delivery of urgent packages. At the time, the vision seemed far-fetched. His professor gave him a “C” on the term paper in which these ideas were formulated. Smith refused to forsake his ideas, and created an A+ company – Federal Express. Today, the Federal Express Corporation has the reputation of being one of the world’s exceptional companies. This happened because one man refused to relinquish his vision. Had Smith been discouraged and abandoned his idea, it’s very possible we would not have express mail service today.
Martin Luther King, one of the great leaders of our day, had a dream. He visualized a nation where all people could live equal. He was willing to die for that vision. Despite being jailed on many
occasions, stabbed and stoned, he persisted in his efforts to fulfill his dream of a world of racial equality and improve living conditions for the poor. Like small creeks that grow into mighty rivers, the dreams of leaders eventually shape the course of history.
Those present at Washington Monument on August 28, 1963 can never forget how King captured and electrified the emotions of that crowd estimated at over 250,000 people. He was able to impart to that crowd a hope for the future, and hope is one of the greatest gifts we can give to others. His dream became the dream of blacks and small ethnic groups nationwide. King was able to make his dream a reality, only because he influenced others to buy into his vision and it became their dream. Outstanding leaders appeal to the hearts of their followers, not to their minds.
Vision is the first critical dimension of effective leadership. Without it, we wander aimlessly. The lack of purpose leads to a lack of coordination between work units and brings division and fightings.
It is not an easy task to mold a group of diverse individuals into a tight-knit group striving for excellence. But with an unrelenting vision, it can be accomplished.
– Dorene Hager
TEN COMMANDMENTS OF LEADERSHIP
In Christianity, we find the story of Moses ascending to the mount and returning with the Ten Commandments carved in stone. The children of Israel were to follow these commandments in order to be successful. I have found through study that if you are going to become an effective, successful leader, there are ten commandments you must carve into the tables of your heart.
The first and foremost commandment is to treat everyone with respect and dignity. If you expect respect, you must display respect. No successful leader demands respect – they earn it. The way a leader treats his people reflects on his character. If he does not respect them, he won’t have them for long and a leader without people is not a leader. If you let your people know you respect them and their hard work, you will be amazed how job performance will increase.
Secondly, as a leader, you must set the example for others to follow. Don’t expect your people to be on time if you are always running 30 minutes late. Leading by example is an important part of leadership. Don’t tell them how – show them how. If you want hardworking people, be a hard worker. The people that follow you will only climb to the heights that you climb.
Thirdly, become an active coach. This ties in with number two. Don’t be known only as the man on the sideline yelling at your players, rather get out there and take some batting practice and show them how it is done. An active leader is involved somewhat with his people. He is not only known as the man who gives orders, but also is known as the man who can give a hand when needed.
Fourthly, be an honest leader. Honesty still is the best policy. If a leader is dishonest, his people will find out and then he will lose their trust. Dishonesty is not worth the price you must pay. Be honest in all your activities and in the long run, it will pay off. An honest leader is one who shares credit with the people who do all the work. Give credit where it is due and you will be rewarded. Be honest with yourself. Know what your capabilities are.
Insisting on excellence is the fifth commandment. Don’t settle for second best. Don’t accept half completed job assignments – hold your people accountable. If something doesn’t get done to the best of their ability, let them know you appreciate their efforts, however, they can and will do better. If someone in particular is accountable for a job, it usually gets done more efficiently. Perfection is something worth striving for. Be your best!
Sixth on our commandment list is that the leader must build group cohesiveness and pride. Team spirit is a must, it is amazing how things can be accomplished if a group will join together. Make each person feel like they are a part of the team and let them know their role is just as important to the success of the project as anyone else’s. If each person feels a vital part, much will be accomplished and they will feel good about what was done. If a person feels good about what he is doing, he’ll no doubt do it better.
The seventh commandment is to show confidence in your people. If they know you believe in them, then they will believe in themselves, thereby producing greater results. If you have no confidence in your people, they will lose confidence in you and you will eventually lose them. Believe in them and they will believe in you. Give your people a confidence boost, reward them for their fine efforts, and you are letting them know you notice them. Caring makes a world of difference.
Eighthly, you must maintain a strong sense of urgency. Let your people know the importance of having the job done when it is due. Put the pressure on. The pressure will force concentrated efforts on their part, producing good work. Let them know you’ll need them in the crunch and when they come through under pressure, you’ll reward them.
The ninth commandment is to be available to your people. If they need to talk, you need to be there for them. You need to be visible so they know you do more than just sit there, doing nothing, and taking all the credit. Let your people see you solve some problems, and put your shoulder to the wheel, so to speak. Then watch them join in and really make it work. It’s amazing what you’re setting the stage for. Your people really do accomplish.
The tenth commandment is to develop yourself. Of course, it is very important that you (the leader) never become status quo. The average man will be the one that works in the factory, not the one who owns the factory. To be a leader, you must go above and beyond the call of duty. Don’t ever quit, continue on to great success. Always try to be a little bit better. There is always room for improvement; the real leader is always improving.
We have listed ten commandments that you should follow to become a successful, effective leader. Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list, however, if you will follow these guidelines, it will amaze you how your life will change. Being an effective leader changes your life and how you view the world around you. Follow these commandments and it won’t be long before you’ll be in the land of milk and honey, never again to wander aimlessly in life.
Being a leader isn’t an easy journey, but it is well worth it.
– Don Sheerin
Success is never final and failure never fatal. It’s courage that counts. – George F. Tilton
Courage is an intangible leadership quality which all great leaders have. It is determination and perseverance in the face of unsurmountable odds. Someone who has courage is someone who is full of faith. I believe courage comes from God. It is a spiritual strength that helps us face trials straight on and accomplish all God has Set forth for us to do.
We have learned five attributes to courageous leaders and I would like to share them with you. First of all, a courageous leader doesn’t have to be loved by everyone. He is not afraid to say no and not afraid to take a stand through tremendous opposition. A leader with this type of courage earns the respect of the people in the end.
Secondly, you must have the courage to pick yourself up in the face of defeat. The greatest leaders fail. What makes the difference is the fact that they pick themselves up and go on. When failure is viewed from this perspective, it becomes a stepping stone to the future.
Thirdly, a courageous leader will not shy away from conflict, but face it head on. He will not shy away even though it involves tension and stress. Sometimes a little friction is needed to get traction. If conflict is controlled, it can become an effective tool of leadership.
Fourth, leaders have the courage and strength to bear their burdens. Through the trials that they face, they are positive and upbeat. They do not wear their problems on their sleeves, but are an inspiration to those around them.
Finally, leaders have the courage to adapt and change as the situations merit. Great companies, great organizations are made by those willing to adapt to change and break out of ruts in which they
may have been.
To be a great leader, one with a great positive influence, you must break out of the mold and follow the vision you have in your heart and mind with courage.
– Patrick Ryan
The word “sincere” can be defined as genuine. How to define the word “sincerity” for the purpose of this chapter is difficult, when there are so many people at work today evaluating this term for themselves.
Having been both a leader and a follower, please allow me to give my interpretation.
To lead a group of people, one must sincerely want to be a leader.
Sincerity in leadership is a responsibility of the leader only. To have sincerity as a leader, you must be a sincere leader meaning this: the desire to be a leader should not be for prestige, more money, or revenge. Believe it or not, there are some leaders in position for revenge. Their only intent is to show someone something, prove a point, or change all things they see wrong.
A sincere leader will have the deep seeded desire to lead someone to some goal, today.
A sincere, or genuine, leader wants followers. He does not want to be the only one in the parade tooting his own horn, and beating his own drum.
A sincere leader will have a pied piper effect on people. Not only should they be following us, but if at all possible, as in the example of the pied piper, have them dancing all the way out the gate.
If we are sincere in our desire to be a leader, to be in the forefront to lead, we can create what I call the great Mississippi effect. We don’t know where the mighty river started or how it started. Some things are sure though. Get in it and it will sweep you away. Try to stop it and it will take more than one to do it, and more than a day to do so. It has only one goal – to finish what it started.
A sincere leader’s desire should be to create something in people that will cause them to unite and create a river, so that when you are gone, what you have created will not be diverted, but continue as a natural continuous flow of success. Develop such a sweeping effect with your desire to – lead so that all who follow you will be caught away in it. Instill within your people to reach their goal so that:
a) it will take more than one to stop it; and
b) it will take more than a day and more effort than it is worth to stop it.
When you have lead (not pushed) the people to this point, you will have created another Mississippi. And, like the Mississippi, your people will not only move with success, but will effect all that
surround it, and will be able to reach an ocean of opportunity for their lives.
You might say a sincere leader is kind, fair, and understanding; a person full of care, who is honest and truthful.
It is my belief that if a person has a sincere desire to lead, if his motivation is right, then all of the aforementioned will be in use to accomplish his goals.
Dictators have come and gone. Their faults are discussed and hashed over time and time again, but great leaders lead to and from the grave for centuries.
– James Barker
(The above material was prepared by a group a IBC students in Bro. O.C. Marler’s Leadership class in Indianapolis, IN.)
THE PENALTY OF LEADERSHIP
By: Theodore F. MacManus
In every field of human endeavor, he that is first must perpetually live in the white light of publicity. Whether the leadership is vested in a man or in a manufactured product, emulation and envy are ever at work. In art, in literature, in music, in industry, the reward and the punishment are always the same. The reward is widespread recognition; the punishment, fierce denial and detraction.
When a man’s work becomes a standard for the whole world, it also becomes a target for the shafts of the envious few. If his work be merely mediocre, he will be left severely alone–if he achieve a
masterpiece, it will set a million tongues a-wagging.
Jealousy does not protrude its forked tongue at the artist who produces a commonplace painting. Whatsoever you write, or paint, or play, or sing, or build, no one will strive to surpass or to slander you, unless your work be stamped with the seal of genius. Long, long after a great work or a good work has been done, those who are disappointed or envious continue to cry out that it cannot be done.
Spiteful little voices in the domain of art were raised against our own Whistler as a mountebank, long after the big world had acclaimed him its greatest artistic genius. Multitudes flocked to Bavreuth to worship at the musical shrine of Wagner, while the little group of those whom he had dethroned and displaced argued angrily that he was no musician at all. The little world continued to protest that Fulton could never build a steamboat, while the big world flocked to the river banks to see his boat steam by.
The leader is assailed because he is a leader, and the effort to equal him is merely added proof of that leadership. Failing to equal or to excel, the follower seeks to depreciate and to destroy–but only confirms once more the superiority of that which he strives to supplant. There is nothing new in this. It is as old as the world and as old as the human passions–envy, fear, greed, ambition, and the desire to surpass. And it all avails nothing. If the leader truly leads, he remains–the leader. Master-poet, master-painter, master-workman, each in his turn is assailed, and each holds his laurels through the ages. That which is good or great makes itself known, no matter how loud the clamor of denial. That which deserves to live-lives.
(The above material was prepared by the late Theodore F. MacManus on January 2, 1915.)
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