Leading To Make a Difference

Leadership Development   Written by Sheila Murray Bethel - Word Count: 693
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If you thought you could make a difference, would you be willing to try? If you knew that you could motivate others to make a difference, would you be inspired to do so? I'm sure the answer to these questions is yes! Over the next few months, in a series of articles, I'll share with you how you can make a difference--in your home, your job and your community.

Twelve Qualities

There are twelve common denominators -- twelve qualities -- that all effective leaders possess.  These qualities are characteristics present in all of us to some degree. Some of these qualities are "how-to" skills and aptitudes.  Others involve philosophies and attitudes.

The Twelve Qualities of Leadership

A leader:

          1.  Has a Mission That Matters

          2.  Has High Ethics.

          3.  Is a Team-Builder

          4.  Is A Big Thinker

          5.  Masters Change

          6.  Is Sensitive

          7.  Communicates Effectively

          8.  Is a Risk-Taker

          9.  Is a Decision-Maker

         10.  Uses Power Wisely

         11.  Is Courageous

12.      Is Committed


For the past few decades, we have been over-managed and under-led..

We learned to manage objects and procedures, money and time, equipment and machinery.  But somewhere along the way we lost the emphasis on leadership.

We forgot that while management is important, leadership is what builds and maintains great nations, great peoples and great  companies.

We all want to be inspired, motivated, and encouraged to do our best.  We feel this way when we are being led, not just managed. That's what leadership is: influencing others to make a difference. We must set an example that others choose to follow.  And the secret to eliciting that choice is the very essence of leadership.

Leading By Example

"We lead first by example! Everything we say or do sends a message, sets a tone or teaches people what to do or what not to do".

Servant Leadership

To make a difference we must be willing to serve. True service has a high value. If we contribute our time, emotions, energy, and effort, we can have real impact on people and problems.

Service has two main ingredients. They are:

                 #1.  The willingness and ability to serve others.

                #2. The type, kind, and quality of service given.

Imagine your desk with two signs.  One says, "The buck stops here."  The other says, "Service starts here."  Wouldn't that send a powerful message to others? There is a direct correlation between how a leader serves his or her followers and how the followers serve others.

The philosophy of history's leaders who have had a positive affect on our world has been one of service.  It is invariably the servant-leaders who have advanced mankind.

When serving ask yourself two questions.  First, "What would I want if I were dealing with me?"  That brings the idea of service to a very personal level.  And second "Who am I really serving?"  If leadership serves only the leader, it will fail. Ego satisfaction, financial gain, and status can all be valuable tools for a leader, but if they become there own motivations, they will eventually destroy a leader.

Where To Begin

When you have the courage to say, "I will try to make a difference.  I'll take up the challenge of becoming a leader" you become part of the grass roots leadership so badly needed today. If you lead by example and use the power of a service ethic people will be motivated to follow.  When you mange things but lead people you will influence their behavior and productivity.

There are more opportunities for making a difference than we would ever have room to mention.       

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Sheila Murray Bethel is a best selling author, television personality and globally acclaimed professional speaker. Sheila's expertise is Change, Leadership, and Personal Excellence. She is the author of the best-selling book, Making A Difference: 12 Qualities That Make You a Leader, host of the new Public Television Specials, “Making A Difference”, and business woman. For information about Sheila’s Leadership Seminars and Workshops,

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