Look at the mess we're in. Why doesn't somebody do something? When was
the last time you heard or even thought that? Look! Up in the air, it's Superman! We're saved. What a hero. If only
I had his powers I could be a hero. If only I was born a leader.
Wrong! The big myth is that leaders are born. The reality, in the words
of Warren Bennis, author of On Becoming a Leader, is "Leaders Invent Themselves".
Leaders possess the core virtues within themselves. One day the spark
ignites the leader to do what must be done. Leadership is about doing the right thing. After rescuing his crew from
shark-infested waters, John F Kennedy was asked, "How did you become a hero?" He shrugged, "It was involuntary,
they sank my boat."
Although leaders often possess management and leadership skills, true
leadership comes from within. Five key virtues make up the heart of leadership: Vision; Integrity; Hunger; Risk and
Vision: The ability to see something that no one else can. It might be a
break through product, service or discovery. But you know it can be done. Wayne Gretzky skates to where the puck
will be, not where it is.
Integrity: My high school motto was Know Thyself. It only took me twenty
years to understand what it meant. Do you know who you are and what you stand for?
Hunger: The desire to learn, grow and create is so strong it gnaws at
you. It's why people climb mountains, why Roger Banister broke the 4-minute mile, why Bill Gates built Microsoft,
why there is no limit to what we can do.
Risk: Leaders challenge the norm. Columbus sailed beyond the known world
when everyone knew that he would fall off the edge. Risk spawns the courage to stand in front of a tank in
Tiananmen Square or to challenge IBM in the computer business.
Passion: Would you rather follow someone who is logical or passionate?
Terry Fox had a passion. Nelson Mandela, imprisoned for 27 years, only had to recant his beliefs to be released.
Instead he chose to follow his passion. He reminds us, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest
fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us."
All five of these virtues must be present in a leader. Look for these
virtues in yourself and those around you.
If you are looking for a role model - pick Batman. You can't be
Superman. There is only one Superman, born on Krypton to be a hero on Earth. But everyone can be a Batman. He is
the only super hero without super powers. Yet he stands head to head with Superman and the rest of the super heroes
in the Justice League. Batman is just a human who developed his thinking and physical skills. He possessed the core
leadership virtues of Vision, Integrity, Hunger, Risk, and Passion.
Often it is something traumatic that awakens leaders - consider Terry
Fox, Churchill and Kennedy. But any dramatic change can awaken the leader within you. Take advantage of the changes
you face to awaken your leader within. It is curious that today's entrepreneurs exhibit the leadership qualities of
early explorers. We all have the potential to be leaders. Can you stand the light?
©George Torok is the co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing. Get your free copy of
“50 Power Marketing Ideas” at www.PowerMarketing.ca
Arrange a media interview by calling 905-335-1997. Find more information and free tips
George Torok brings practical insights to business. He is co-author of Secrets of Power
Marketing, the first guide to personal marketing for the non-marketer. As host of radio show "Business in Motion"
he has interviewed over 400 business leaders. He is available to deliver keynote speeches and business seminars.
Contact him at 905-335-1997 or visit www.Business-Speaker.biz
You can read an excerpt from the book
at www.PowerMarketing.ca . Get your free Marketing Tune-up at www.MarketingTuneUp.ca . Marketing expert, George Torok is available for speaking engagements and media interviews
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Business Articles by Business Speaker, George Torok