They say leaders are made and not born! Well I disagree with that statement, because leadership is something that we are all born with and it is enhanced when we are in alignment with our life’s mission. To be in alignment with your life’s mission, you must discover what you value and what you are passionate about. Passion is the starting point of authentic leadership and clarity is what gives motion to your life’s mission.
According to Gary Zukav, authentic power is when you are able to align who you are (or who you become) with what you have come to do in the world. Therefore, authentic power is the kind of power that can never be taken away from you, hence it enables a person to lead from within.
The main question is how does authentic leadership move a nation?
When we look in history books, the name Nelson Mandela always comes up as a man who led authentically and according to many, he had a utilitarianism leadership style. Utilitarianism is a family of consequentialist ethical theories that promotes actions that maximize happiness and well-being for the affected individuals. Utilitarianism could motivate individuals within the organization/nation to take initiative, become more responsible, and act in ways that enhance the organization’s or nation’s reputation rather than tarnish it.
I do not know how Nelson Mandela (and other great leaders) inspired citizens to willingly offer their best and highest contributions, but according to Komai who wrote an Economic Theory of Leadership, leaders have no special talent but are leaders simply because they are given exclusive access to certain information. Komai further states that a single leader induces a first best outcome if his incentives are aligned with his subordinates. Maybe the idea of a free South Africa was a more than enough incentive for South Africans.
I might not have Nelson Mandela’s magic yet, but I do know you are reading this because you’re intrigued by the authentic leadership concept, and I’m here to inspire you to unleash the authentic power. There are three types of people, first are the people who don’t know their passion- they just come to earth and leave like they never existed. Then there are those who know what their passion is but blame society and everything else for not following their passion. Lastly there are those who know their passion and practice it.
Let’s face it, most people know their passion but make excuses about their limitations, and society is so complacent with this type of mediocracy because its comforting to suffer in solidarity. This mentality prevents us from becoming who we were meant to be, and the truth is our lives reflects what we settle for. We need to individually identify what we value, create a clear vision of our life mission, engage in continuous educational self-improvement and most importantly raise our standards.
I have personally vowed to stop being selfish and give what I have been given, because my gift is not mine but the people I serve. I have realised that my failure helps no one, but my success has the ability to move nations. Authentic leaders serve people in alignment with their life mission.
Byars, S.M. & Stanberry, K. (2012): Utilitarianism: The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number. Texas. OpenStax.
Chris, J. (2015): 5 Nelson Mandela Leadership Style Secrets. Joseph Chris.
Komai, M. (2004): An Economic Theory of Leadership. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1-108.
Zukav,G. (1989): The Seat of the Soul. New York: Simon & Schuster.