Real leaders are rare in today’s fast-moving, financially driven world. In their place are fast-track wannabes and imposters, intent on instant gratification in the form of quick (and unsustainable) bottom-line results. Real and effective leaders today—from the executive suite to the assembly line–quietly and consistently follow the seven principles of effective leadership “Real Leaders Don’t Boss” as written by Ritch Eich.
Eich observes, there are far too many bosses and not enough leaders. Bosses who are too narrowly focused, see employees as tools, respect positions and controls rather than empowering, and sets expectations for others that they wouldn’t wish on themselves.
Real leaders inspire others to lead wherever they find themselves in the organization. Eich identifies and then dedicates a chapter to each of eight essentials of effective leadership:
- Rea leaders don’t boss. They are calm in their style, yet have zero tolerance for bullies, who, in any capacity, undermine performance and morale.
- Real leaders have a central compass. They aspire to do what’s right and be a part of something bigger than themselves.
- Real leaders communicate with clarity, honesty, and directness, and know how to listen.
- Real leaders have a unique make-up. Their passion translates into a strong corporate culture.
- Real leaders value and support everyone they lead, out front as well as behind the scenes.
- Real leaders know when to get out of the way.
- Real leaders are accessible. They are humble and easily approached.
- Real leaders know the difference between character and integrity, and why it takes both to succeed.
These eight essentials are about treating people right. They also reflect an extended range of responses to people and situations that “bosses” either don’t possess or exercise.
Leadership isn’t something you are necessarily born with; it is something that is thoughtfully developed throughout life. Most real leaders aren’t born with some innate ability transforming them into magnets that attract others to follow them. They may have expectations placed on them to rise above their present situation or environment; they may even have an inborn strong desire to serve others and accomplish something unique. In most cases, however, leadership skills are developed and honed in the battlefield of life, where leaders discover their drive, passion, and wisdom. It is these opportunities to rise above our present situation and environment that we should be seeking out and providing for our children—the next generation of leaders.