What makes a leader? Some leaders mentioned by Fortune magazine are, Pope Francis, Bill Clinton, Angela Merkel, Warren Buffett, and Christine Lagarde. A complete list can be found in Fortune magazine, 50 of the greatest leaders of 2014 http://alturl.com/cnhjr .We‘ve heard leaders are born not made, interesting thought. “Leadership is the process of directing the behavior of others toward the accomplishment of some common objectives. Leadership is influencing people to get things done to a standard and quality perhaps above their norm”. That being said, we can all be an effective leader given the correct fit and/or situation. Peter Drucker, management consultant, educator and author stated that “management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Leadership is about vision, energizing people, effective communication, charisma, and competence. Management specifically, project management is the ability to achieve the project goals given time and funding constraints and focusing on the details. When I think of leadership qualities, I think of Steve Jobs. In my opinion, Steve Jobs did not have a perfect rise to the top, and did not have the emotional intelligence that many speak of that’s necessary for being an effective leader. Steve Jobs leadership style was definitely criticized by his peers and subordinates, he was insensitive at times, difficult at times, demanding and a perfectionist but he is recognized and remembered for his vision and his ability to energize people.
I do not think a good leader or manager is something that comes naturally but it can be perfected through trial and error over the years. Unfortunately, many leaders and managers are defined by their errors and sometimes not given a second chance or perhaps, they are labeled as poor leaders. Many leaders and managers are so focused on meeting the established goals and objectives of the project, as well as, satisfying the directives given to them by senior management, that they lose sight of the needs of the team members/direct reports which of course, is detrimental to the leader and to the team member/direct report. Being a leader can be challenging and may be compared to herding cats but given the opportunity it can also be exciting.