"Leadership is not magnetic personality, that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not ‘making friends and influencing people,’ that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person's vision to higher sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations." — Peter F. Drucker
More and more research shows that charismatic leaders do not run the most successful organizations. In Jim Collins’ book, Good To Great, he spent years following companies that consistently outperformed the S&P and their industry over the course of 15+ years. Of the very few that met the criteria,none had charismatic CEOs.
Here is an example of what happens with charismatic CEOs. When they leave “good” corporations, there is a void in the organization and it falters. When CEOs who lead “great” enterprises leave, their successors are empowered to carry the baton and continue to outperform the market.
Charismatic CEOs seem to think it is about them. Great CEOs know it is about the people – all stakeholders. Their job is to ensure people have the resources, guidance and development to get the job done.
As Drucker implies, leadership is about how your legacy impacts others to be better than they were before you arrived. If the leader raises performance of the business, she did so because she never accepted people’s self imposed limits. She sees more in the individual than he sees in himself. More importantly, she creates the culture or environment that allows for extraordinary results.
While the best leaders are not forceful, they are firm in their stance. They do not tell you what to do. They ask what you think. As a result of their questions, you discover new perspectives. Furthermore, they introduce possibilities that stretch you beyond your imagination. And when the job is done the people will say we did ourselves.
Since leadership is not limited to business, what new possibilities will you introduce to the people in your world?