Leadership means different things to different people around the world, and different things in different situations. For example, it could relate to community leadership, religious leadership, political leadership, and leadership of campaigning groups.
Late in my corporate career, I spent countless hours tweaking budgets and moving numbers around in a spreadsheet. Fun times! Because of my attitude about spending money, I viewed the value of an employee in monetary terms. If I did it all over again, I’d view employees first and only as individuals with creative ideas that add value.
A successful pursuit might be going to the grocery store with your children and not experiencing any meltdowns or tantrums. A successful pursuit could be securing an interview for the job of your dreams. Or, a successful pursuit could simply be getting out of bed in the morning.
The “how to be a better leader” test: When was the last time you praised an employee? If it wasn’t this week, you may be a boss. Taking time to praise an employee for a job well-done may help you become a better leader.
Find the purpose or goal of your life. Identify the things you love to do, the things that give you satisfaction. Once you identify what you love to do, use this information to find the purpose of your life or the objective of your life.
The authors name Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi as leaders, who have been able to lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and boost growth. They have realised the horizon new technologies and approaches open up – the Fourth Industrial Revolution – and capitalise on them to alleviate poverty (in India) and facilitate business dealing (in China). But Xi and Modi can’t really claim the credit by reaping the harvest for the seeds their predecessors had sown, even though the majority of their citizens are content with the “current economic condition.”
Although Pope Francis is a spiritual leader, he doesn’t hesitate to intervene in geopolitics that harms or poses a threat to mankind. His courage and wisdom in embracing pragmatism have won him much respect. His ambition to decentralise the church structure, turning it into a “home for all” shows that he recognises social changes and seems prepared to adapt himself.
The simple adage “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade” is a great example of using leverage to move your business forward. Many people will make the lemonade and drink it themselves. A true entrepreneur will make lemonade and sell it to those without lemons, and use the profits to buy more lemons or move into another business. While today a polarizing political figure, Donald Trump is a great example of an entrepreneur who time and time again used leverage to acquire crucial pieces of real estate or strike very lucrative business deals. Love him or hate him, his book The Art of The Deal is a great resource on how leverage can make someone mega successful.
Mark van Vugt and Anjana Ahuja in Naturally Selected: The Evolutionary Science of Leadership present evidence of leadership in nonhuman animals, from ants and bees to baboons and chimpanzees. They suggest that leadership has a long evolutionary history and that the same mechanisms underpinning leadership in humans can be found in other social species, too. Richard Wrangham and Dale Peterson, in Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence, present evidence that only humans and chimpanzees, among all the animals living on Earth, share a similar tendency for a cluster of behaviors: violence, territoriality, and competition for uniting behind the one chief male of the land. This position is contentious. Many animals beyond apes are territorial, compete, exhibit violence, and have a social structure controlled by a dominant male (lions, wolves, etc.), suggesting Wrangham and Peterson’s evidence is not empirical. However, we must examine other species as well, including elephants (which are and follow an alpha female), meerkats (who are likewise matriarchal), and many others.