Any crisis, almost always, brings out the best in man. The mind can pull from its bag of gray matter a thousand and one tricks to resolve any issue or problem. This may be at home, at your office, at your school-anywhere.
As leaders, we are sometimes placed on the spot and are asked to do what seems impossible. Sometimes we make it; sometimes we don't. Through all these, we usually have two good things going for us: faith in ourselves and our belief that destiny is on our side.
Today, the search for good and true leaders continues.
What are some of the extraordinary powers that separate leaders from average men?
The true leader has the power to discern his special place among men-- true self-knowledge of one's worth: not a delusion of grandeur. He is fully aware of his talent and can transform it into an instrument of effective service. But he also knows his limitations and uses them, not as guidelines for non-commitment but as indicators of how else he must improve himself. The true leader has a sense of mission-- not messianic but organic. He understands that he must play an important role in the organization where he belongs. He allows others to build on their strengths, and once they are grafted to him, he provides the substance that makes them grow as one: skills, wisdom, virtues and deep sense of commitment.
The true leader draws out the best in others, he has the power to inspire. He uses the wand of leadership to summon forth latent energies and powers trapped within the bodies of average men and let them bloom. He provides the rain and sunshine that awaken the seeds of creativity, and when they flower, he does not claim them as his own creation but the product of co-creation and self-determination.
The true leader has the power of judgment-- he can tell when it is time to act or time to react. If it is proper to express sentiments or keep silent. If it is time to go on or pause and reflect. If it is time to make a choice or let another day pass to discover new options--if it is time for aggression or discretion.
The true leader possesses courage, he does not merely follow the trodden ways. He sometimes follows paths untried before to achieve his goals, he does not balk when the going gets tough, in fact, it makes him tougher. The leaders' courage is infectious, it seeps down into the bloodstream of every member of his team. His boldness is balanced by realism, he never uses his head to break a rock.
The true leader has the gift of sharing-- he shares victory with his team. He sees to it that everyone is rewarded for his contribution. He does not claim credit for himself, but he accepts responsibility for his team's success even as he must-- for its failures.
Lastly, the true leader possesses the gift of vision: the power to see both the clear days and dark nights of his leadership. The power to describe the ultimate goal, the power to explain why it must be done. Visionary leadership is the highest power that a leader can possess. With his vision, the leader can start giving shape to the future and to his dreams-- slowly transforming them into concrete reality. Vision also illumines the path ahead, helping his team to anticipate obstacles that may come and prepare for the worst. And lastly, leadership vision creates new, grander worlds of achievements and greater successes.
The true leader's powers: discernment, a sense of mission, inspiration, correct judgment, a magnanimous spirit, and vision, equip the leader with the extraordinary strengths that can bring him through any crisis.
And there is no magic here-- just the right combination of strengths that can overcome all heavy challenges faced by any leader.
The leader then, is like King Arthur of Camelot, who, for some shining moments, lit his world and showed where it must go.