What kind of leader are you?

Leadership is the ability to manage energy, first in yourself and then in those around you. If your interactions with people are building their energy, you are probably leading them. If your interactions are sucking energy out of people, you may be in charge, but you are not leading.  Truly effective and morally grounded leaders begin with a cause, a purpose, a goal that serves fellow citizens – and not with the goal of being the leader because it appears attractive, powerful, respected, and well paid” (Clawson, 2006). Some might view this as passion for the work that one does. Those with great passion can create excitement and purpose among followers in the organization. Clawson (2006) also says that when leaders are truly engaged in something, they begin to influence others without even trying. Great leaders also possess intelligence, not only regarding the ability to collect and integrate information or analyze and solve problems, but more importantly possess emotional intelligence. “The ability to interact well with followers, satisfy their emotional needs and motivate and inspire them is another key to effective leadership” (Nahavandi, 2006). Leaders must also be creative, they must think outside the box, identify new alternatives, take risks, learn from past mistakes, create change, and model the behavior expected from followers.  Finally, leaders need to be supportive. Clawson (2006) writes, “effective leaders find ways of supporting their people by designing new organizational forms that no longer hinder people’s creativity and sense of responsibility for results, but encourage it.”