What it Means to be a True Leader

A true leader is so much more than the celebrity successful leader that society recognises. Anyone can succumb to the glamour of how others perceive us. What is critical is how a leader integrates these external perceptions with their deeper self.

Success can corrupt quite easily. We only have to look at what is happening in the world today to see many examples of this.

The egotistical leader

This leader loves flattery. They pay great attention to external factors: they project a strong image of success with flashy cars, an embellished office, highly branded clothes, etc. Their work space exudes an image of prosperity.

They come across as arrogant and proud in their interactions. The egotistical leader is controlling and authoritarian and expects others to conform to their expectations. They are status conscious and make this known in the way they communicate. Egotistical leaders are the antithesis of what it means to be a true leader. Their key focus is themselves and what they can gain from situations and relationships.

As a result, it feels as if you are interacting with a persona, someone wearing a mask. In addition, you may even feel uncomfortable and guarded in their presence.

The true leader

The true leader is evolved. As a result they are humble and grateful for success. They are quietly certain of their abilities and what they offer. These leaders treat everyone as an equal. They are warm and sincere in their interactions. So you feel accepted and experience the interaction as authentic. You feel very comfortable in their presence as status is irrelevant.

They see themselves as a channel for success at a much broader level than their own personal success. The true leader is externally focussed. Therefore they like to serve humanity or the community they form a part of. They make decisions that are in the best interests of the larger group as opposed to only themselves.

Leadership and success

The levels of success in leadership relate to the level of self-awareness and consciousness of the leader.

The lowest level of leader focusses on what they “have”. So, visible signs of material wealth, such as smart cars, quality clothes, the latest gadgets etc. are important to them.

The second level of leadership focusses on what they “do”. As a result these leaders are intent on achieving goals. Initially their achievements bring them social status. But as they master more situations  and skills and become mature in themselves, they lose interest in social recognition.

The third level of leader is one who has been shaped by his experiences. These leaders are influential because of who they “are”, not what they “have” or what they have “achieved”. At this level leadership is effortless.

The true leader is purely themselves. They radiate positive energy and people are automatically attracted to them as people. The true leader realises life is about giving and making a positive contribution to make the world a better place.

This type of leader is motivated by a conscience and strong personal values. They focus on the major issues facing communities and try to find solutions. True leaders behave in an ethical fashion.

Questions to ponder on

What really matters to you?

What legacy do you want to leave behind?

How do you want others to remember you?

If you would like to take stock of your leadership style you may want to consider coaching.


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Posted in Leadership.