If ever there was a critical time for great leadership to emerge, that time is now! Within the hearts and minds of the people in these United States and communities therein, there is a longing desire for courageous, passionate, and visionary transformational leadership.
In a report by Real Clear Politics based upon a culmination of polling, it is indicated that 63.3 percent of the people feel that the nation today is moving decidedly in the wrong direction. Further, there seems to be a feeling that leadership is failing us and a vacuous sense of drift seems to permeate the current scene. There is a disturbing sense that a feeling of national pride is not being encouraged, resulting in an erosion of confidence in our public institutions and infrastructure.
Among others, several major national issues, facing the electorate in 2014 are - the economy and jobs, the federal deficit, Constitutional issues, and the balance of powers among the three branches of government. These issues seem to have a disturbing impact on the electorate. The ebb and flow of the confidence level among the people is on a downward trend. Great stimulative and confidence building leadership is the call of the day!
A good leader inspires people to have the confidence in the leader. But, a great leader inspires others to have confidence in themselves. And, great leaders are as enthusiastic about the success of others, as they are about their own successfulness. Great leadership results in the unlocking of the potential that resides in the people themselves.
Great leaders have the courage to lead and the wisdom to listen. Indeed, this is the true essence of leadership. Many of us recognize good leadership and we can identify those who stand out as great leaders. Unfortunately, most of us also have seen ineffectual leadership at work. In fact, ineffectual leaders are not leaders at all. True, there may be those who have the designated title of " leader" or, those who try to "play act" as a leader. But, when the very heart of the moral authority to lead is lacking, leadership is just non-existent. For moral authority is at the heart of great leadership; it is the true essence of transformative leadership at its best.
We have all been in groups where someone took control of the situation by conveying a clear vision of the group's goals, a marked passion for the work, and an ability to make the rest of the group feel recharged and energized. Transformational leadership is a type of leadership style which inspires others to reach their potential. Transformational leaders are energetic, credible, and passionate. Not only are these leaders concerned and involved in the substance of the organization, but also, they are encouraging to others ... to learn, search, and serve and to become all of which one is capable.
Transformational leaders have a way of taking more than their share of the blame and less than their share of the credit. They stimulate and inspire followers to both achieve extraordinary outcomes and, in the process, each follower then develops their own leadership capacity. Transformational leaders help others to grow and develop into leaders by responding to the needs of the individuals and by empowering by aligning each (and this is key) to the objectives and goals of the individual followers, the group, and the larger organization.
Great leaders possess credibility and leave footprints in their areas of passion. For leadership is a rendezvous with possibility thinking based upon uncompromising integrity ... for, with, and by the people. Their heart is in that which they do. It was Eleanor Roosevelt who said it so well: "To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart". That was solid advice for her time. And it is solidly strategic advice for our times as well! And that is how I see it FROM THIS PERSPECTIVE.
Dr. Robert L. Heichberger is professor emeritus at the State University of New York at Fredonia and distinguished professor at Capella University. He is an award winning author and the author of a new book just released. All of the past columns can be viewed on www.fromourperspective.net/ Send comments to: Rheich@aol.com