If you are one of those who love the news networks you can agree that most of what we see and hear is very little good and plenty of the bad and the ugly. Negativity and the worst of human traits are portrayed daily. The world needs its examples of leaders such as John C. Maxwell, Martin Luther King Jr., Zig Ziglar, Billy Graham and Ronald Reagan. What makes these examples stand out and recognized as world class leaders? I want to address three things that I think makes individuals appear as giants in the crowd. The leader examples I mentioned are some of my favorite, but do not constitute an all-inclusive list.
As John C. Maxwell says, “Leadership is influence.” Everyone influences either in a negative or positive way. More positive ways are what the world needs. Positive ways of influence offers peace, and unity, thus promoting growth individually and socially. I also believe there are some commonalities among these leaders to make them great. They follow certain principles while maintaining an attitude that strengthens their audience of followers.
I will list the three things and support each of them with quotes from these leaders. If you study these three things and the quotes, you will be able to recognize great leaders all around you.
They Possess Positive Attitudes
Positive attitudes will produce positive influence and positive influence will promote positive change. We constantly need change to adapt to an ever changing society. The best way to change is through personal growth. Read these quotes that speak of attitude from each of the five leaders. Those with a positive attitude and sees life as a good song always hear the music. If there is none they make the music!
John Maxwell – People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.
Martin Luther King Jr. – Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.
Ronald Reagan – Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music.
They Follow Common Principles
There are certain principles that everyone must follow when the same results are expected. For example, when you desire better communication, listening as well as talking must be part of the conversation. Another is that physical exercise promotes good health. There are different ways to achieve results from these examples; however, the principle is the same. A good character is a must for a great leader. These quotes from each of the five leaders speak of principles to follow that will produce good character qualities.
Martin Luther King Jr. – Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
Ronald Reagan – We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.
They Have the Ability to Maintain Great Followings
I have heard it said that the hardest thing to do is lead one’s self much less lead others. The best place to start is with self. However, do not think you can lead others well if you are not investing in leading yourself. To build and maintain a following takes skill that has been defined and refined through personal application. This in no way constitutes that you forget others. The best way to help others is to gain and maintain self-discipline. This process establishes and equips the best leader for them, which could be you. These quotes from the five leaders suggest what a leader must do to speak volumes to their followers.
Martin Luther King Jr. – A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.
Ronald Reagan – If we love our country, we should also love our countrymen.
In a world that daily advertises catastrophe, chaos and division we need examples that will cause us to hold our heads high and wade through the world’s trouble.
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By Daniel W. Evans