Leadership is more who you are than what you do. Your ability to develop the qualities of effective leadership, the essence of what it takes to be a leader, is more important to your success as an executive than any other factor. Today, we need better leaders to enable each of us, our organizations and our country to survive, thrive and move toward the fulfillment of our inherent possibilities.
The leaders we need today are both transactional leaders (those empowered to carry out the functions of management) and transformational leaders–those rare few who break new ground and chart new seas into the future, the pathfinders or the visionaries who lead into areas where no one has been before.
Leadership is often called “the ability to get followers”. And followers, people to be led, have changed considerably over the past few decades. Today the work force at all levels is filled with people who: (1) think and analyze more than ever before; (2) are no longer meek, accepting or grateful for a job; (3) want to know what’s in it for them in everything they are asked to do; (4) want and need to participate, to be involved, to have a say, to be heard; (5) are more expensive; (6) have more options open to them and more untapped potential than before.