What Is A Leader’s Most Important Role?

by  Susan Mazza  |  Leadership Development
What Is A Leader’s Most Important Role?

What is a leader’s most important role? Kristin Mackey suggests it’s to be the example.

She goes on to say: “Leaders influence the direction of the team by their thoughts and behaviors. The very language a leader chooses to use can make or break the level of talent that surfaces.”

Sandra Martinez, Ph.D suggests a leader’s most important role is acting collectively in the present to shape the future.

“This means having the capacity to build trust among diverse groups of people to advance toward a shared goal. It means exerting influence to harness collective intelligence and mobilizing new and alternative resources to prototype change. It also implies creating a space for a ‘shift in perspective’ that frees people individually and collectively to view the world in a different way thus creating momentum to act in significantly different and more constructive ways.”

Here’s My Answer…

A leader’s most important role is to bring people to choice. As John Maxwell says, “Leadership is influence.”

One way to know how you have influenced someone is to observe their choices. Or even better, consider that to influence someone is to bring them face to face with a choice that will either move them and/or a desired future forward or not.

It is in the moment that someone must make a choice that they have the opportunity to express their true commitments and intentions. In doing so, they access their power, and you get the best of what they have to contribute.

Choice is the ultimate source of empowerment. (click to tweet)

Choose for them and you will get compliance at best. Empower people to choose for themselves and you cultivate both ownership and leadership.

Now I’d love to hear from you! What do you think is a leader’s most important role?
Photo Credit: Augur Marketing

About The Author

Articles By susan-mazza
Susan Mazza works with leaders and their organizations to transform their performance from solid to exceptional as a business consultant, leadership coach and motivational speaker. CEO of Clarus-WORKS, Founder/Author of Random Acts of Leadership™, and Co-Author of The Character-Based Leader, Susan was named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders by Trust Across America in 2013.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

Mary C. Schaefer  |  31 Oct 2014  |  Reply

I love this especially, Susan: “Empower people to choose for themselves…” I have not heard it put quite that way before. Fits nicely with the importance of a leader being the example.

Empower people to choose for themselves. – That will be my tweet for this post :)

Susan Mazza  |  31 Oct 2014  |  Reply

Thanks Mary!

Jane  |  31 Oct 2014  |  Reply

Have you influenced someone? Observe their choices. I can think of an expanded version of that truth. Thank you for reminding me of it, Susan!

Susan Mazza  |  31 Oct 2014  |  Reply

Thanks Jane! Would live to hear more about the “expanded version ” you are referring to.

Jonathan Moss  |  02 Nov 2014  |  Reply

Great Article Susan! Elaborating on Empowerment – The team member’s have to feel like they are empowered. They can’t just be told that they are empowered or given the ability to be empowered only to be over ruled. There has to be the feeling of empowerment and support behind the decisions.

Susan Mazza  |  04 Nov 2014  |  Reply

Exactly Jonathan! Empowerment requires that feeling – that emotional connection which must ultimately be self generated.

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