Leadership is the keynote to success– but leadership is difficult to define, and leaders are difficult to find. I have frequently stated that “any ass can be a commander, and a trained man may often make an instructor; but a leader is more like the poet– born, not manufactured.
Baden-Powell from B.P.’s Outlook
B.P. speaks of three different sorts of people the commander, the instructor and the leader. An echo of the leaders described in this well known saying;
The best leader is one that the people are barely aware of.
The next best is one who is loved and praised by the people.
Next comes one who is feared.
Worst is one who is despised.
If the leader does not have enough faith in his people,
They will not have faith in him.
The best leader puts great value in words and says little
So that when his work is finished
The people all say, “We did it ourselves!”
From the Tao Te Ching
Lao Tzu begins lends some definition to B.P.’s evocation of poetry by describing good leadership as a barely perceptible influence that empowers people to do things for themselves.
The commander and instructor call attention to themselves that results in praise or fear or has their followers laughing up their sleeves at them.
I don’t know that I agree with B.P. that a leader cant be “manufactured”. Through practice any reasonable person can develop some leadership skills. Some are more successful, some learn more readily.
Most importantly a leader must have faith in their followers. By seeing the world as they do, by valuing their time as important as their own real leaders create an atmosphere of shared accomplishment.