TRUE LEADERSHIP IS ABOUT PEOPLE AND THEIR ABILITY TO CONNECT WITH OTHERS, NOT THEIR CHARACTERISTICS

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:

Heroes Among Us – Cody Alley – Thomas Dale HS

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.

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