"You are not born a leader, you become one."
A PROVERB IN WEST AFRICA
"Remember that your position does not give you the right to command. It only lays upon you the duty of so living your life that others may receive your orders without being humiliated."
PART ONE Understanding leadership
"Listen to all, pluck a feather from every passing goose, but follow no one absolutely."
1 What you have to be
What is it that gives a person this influence over his or her followers?
In other words, uniquely for English, to lead means to cause others – people or animals – to go on a journey.
How do you do that? Be they sheep or soldiers the principle is the same: you lead them forward from in front and they will follow you – freely, willingly, without compulsion.
On an ancient Sumerian clay tablet this proverb was found inscribed: Soldiers without a king (leader) are like sheep without a shepherd.
You need not see what someone is doing
To know if it is his vocation.
You have only to watch his eyes:
A cook making sauce, a surgeon
Making a primary incision,
A clerk completing a bill of lading,
Wear the same rapt expression,
Forgetting themselves in a function.