Earlier, we talked about how a leader has a vision that he communicates to others and gets them to follow. But there is another aspect of leadership that will help fulfill the vision.
A leader is a servant to the people he leads. He helps his followers to see themselves as more than they already are. He helps them to grow. All great leaders throughout history have recognized this, whether they are military, business or religious leaders. These leaders tell their followers, “You can become whatever you seriously want to become. My job is to help you become what you’ve set your heart and mind on.” That is why a good leader will lead from the front, not from the rear.
The goal of the exceptional leader is to cause people to think more of themselves. How people see themselves is critically important in determining their effectiveness as a human being. This in tum determines their effectiveness as parts of their organization, whether it is a family or multinational corporation.
A leader gives more to his followers than he takes from them. A leader gives love, respect and consideration to those who follow him. His men held the great General Douglas MacArthur in high esteem, not because he was brave (which he was), but because he loved and respected his men and they loved and respected him in return.
All great leaders know what the ancient Chinese Proverb tells us, “If you are planning for one year, grow rice. If you are planning for 20 years, grow trees. If you are planning for centuries, grow men.”