What makes a successful leader? Is it intelligence? Is it charisma? The answer is no. While a leader may possess some of these types of qualities, these characteristics do not make a leader. What truly makes a great leader is a person’s ability to connect with others, empowering them to reach their full potential towards shared goals.
The following is a leader on a local high school football team. He is not a coach, the star player, or even a practice player. This leader is named Cody, and he is the team’s manager. Here is his story:
How did Cody become a leader? His leadership comes from Northouse’s (2007) definition of transformational leader as “a process that changes and transforms people. It is concerned with emotions, values, ethics, standards, and long-term goals and includes assessing followers’ motives, satisfying their needs, and treating them as full human beings.” (pg. 175)
Cody will never run for a touchdown, make a game saving tackle, or ever take the field in uniform on a high school football field, but he certainly has the attention of his teammates. He leads them because he cares about them, and they follow because they care about him.