I’ve often heard it said that the one constant in business is change. While change is certainly always present I think that there is at least one additional constant. This one doesn’t only apply to business, it also applies to life. That constant is this: Leadership Matters. In fact, even before change first took place, around the time that Eve took a bite from the apple, Leadership Mattered.
Leadership has always mattered and it is inconceivable that there will be a time when it doesn’t. Perhaps no one has ever said it better than John Maxwell when he said, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” Everything!
Leadership matters because no one and nothing comes to success without it. Think about it: virtually every great accomplishment has at its core, solid leadership. When everything is going well it is leadership that keeps people from getting complacent. When things are going poorly it is leadership that rights the ship, it is leadership that sets the new course and it is leadership that provides hope.
One of the greatest things a leader can give their people is hope. People need hope, almost as much as air, food or water. Without hope effort stops and progress stops along with it. Leadership matters most in the absence of hope because experienced, authentic leaders will manufacture hope from despair. Leadership matters because where there is a lack of leadership despair will prosper.
People watch their leaders far more closely than most leaders will ever realize. They do what their leader does long before they do what their leader says. A leader that radiates hope gives permission to their people to hope, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
Authentic leaders lead with their deepest self, they care enough about their people to expose their feelings. They lead for their people, not themselves. It is why leadership that matters requires a keen awareness of people. Everyone can be managed the same but authentic leadership means leading each individual on a team or in an organization differently.
The most dangerous people in a company or organization are those in a leadership position that refuse to lead or get out of the way for someone who will. They care more about the “job” than they do about the people who get it done. They hide behind a title never knowing the difference they could make in the life of someone else.
Leadership is about making a difference for other people and when a leader fails, their people fail too. Leadership matters because people matter. It has always been that way and as long as there are people to be lead, it always will be that way.