When the great football coach Vince Lombardi took over the Green Bay Packers they were losers. Three years later, they won the NFL championship. These were the same players that were losers before Lombardi came. During Jack Welch’s tenure as CEO of General Electric its value increased 4000%. Yes, leadership has incredible power. Yet Peter Drucker wrote that it all depends on a single decision: your decision to be a leader.
How Leaders Succeed
Leadership is getting things accomplished by acting through others. Regardless of your own abilities, there are many important goals that you cannot attain without the help of others.
Napoleon Hill discovered an amazing fact from his research which management theorist Dr. Peter F. Drucker later confirmed by his own observations and analysis. No successful individual became successful strictly by his own actions. Every single one of the successful individuals that Napoleon Hill had interviewed had become successful through the help of others. These other individuals had a greater talent in some area.
Carnegie himself must have recognized this, because on his tombstone he had engraved a single sentence. “Here lies one who knew how to get around him men who were cleverer than himself.”
Quite clearly this means that you can reach the most difficult and important goals only with the help of others, both your bosses and those who work for you.
Leadership is not Management
Let use this definition of leadership. Leadership is the art of influencing others to their maximum performance to accomplish any task, objective or project. However, Drucker says “Leadership is the lifting of a man’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a man’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a man’s personality beyond its normal limitations.” Neither definition says anything about management.
A good deal of leadership in the winning of victories has to do with your ability to win the minds of the people around you. If you can do this, you’ll not only lead successfully, but you’ll be successful in achieving your goals and objectives. Almost all organization trappings are secondary to your ability to help people do things that they didn’t know they could do or didn’t know needed to be done.
Five Important Facts Drucker Discovered about Leadership
- One person can make the difference between success or failure in any organization. You can be that person through becoming a leader.
- Most people become successful only through the help of others. You can obtain this help through the practice of leadership.
- You don’t need to be a manager to be a leader. You don’t need to wait to be promoted. You can become a leader immediately by raising your hand and volunteering to lead.
- The essence of leadership is very simple. It is to help people to perform to their maximum potential to achieve organizational goals or objectives.
- Good leadership doesn’t depend on good deals or pleasant working conditions. Your ability to motivate people to perform to their maximum is independent of these factors.
Leadership has tremendous power to help you to accomplish anything that you want the group or organization that you lead to achieve. According to Drucker, making the decision that you are going to be a leader is the most important decision and the gateway to this power.
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