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True Leadership 101


Leadership is not merely being a representative. Leadership is not merely making decisions for the team. ‘Leadership is about three things: To listen, to inspire, and to empower’. This quote by Larry Garfield shows the key qualities a true leader must possess. Each of these qualities poses great importance in achieving a better outcome for the team, together as one.

The first quality is to listen. A true leader must have open ears to anyone under their care. However, listening encompasses more than just physically hearing. Listening refers to having the ability of open-mindedness. Each and every person’s ideas and opinions must be accounted for and accepted in order for a solution to be created that satisfies everyone’s interests. A leader that does not listen may face the consequences of having a bad reputation as everyone would disagree with the choices of the leader.


The next quality is to inspire. A true leader is an influential figure to their members. However, it is crucial that positive messages are spread, not negative ones. Combined with the quality ‘to listen’, a leader gives support to anyone in need. After understanding the problems faced by the majority of the community, they choose to make an impact or better, radical change. Their actions present them as a good role model, thus inspiring people to follow their ways. If no one is seen to desire to be like a certain leader, this hints that their actions have not been admirable and it would be unpleasant to have another similar commander.


The final quality is to empower. A true leader must be able to build on the confidence of their members. The members must be encouraged and reminded that they are capable and worthy. The leader must carry their team and move forward as one while voicing out on everyone’s behalf. No improvement will be seen if a leader is not willing enough to be brave in challenging situations, as everyone they are responsible for will continue to be afraid to stand up for themselves.


The difference between a leader and a true leader is extremely clear. A true leader achieves results that are beneficial to the entire community. They listen, inspire, and empower to make a mark. We know the validity of this statement by looking at history; Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Albert Einstein, the list of inspiring leadership figures goes on. They were remarkable because they listened to the needs of the people, empowered them by teaching them that they did not need to hide, and brought upon radical change for society’s betterment. For example, Mahatma Gandhi understood the needs of Indians for their civil rights. With the knowledge, he inspired everyone to peacefully protest against British rule by bringing together everyone as a courageous leader. This empowered everyone to non-violently stand up for their rights, thus they were later gifted with independence. To conclude, when stepping up into an important leadership role, let us make sure to consider and embody the three qualities.