Leadership is everyone’s business.
We keep finding leaders everywhere we look. They come from every type of organization, public and private, government and NGO, high-tech and low-tech, small and large, schools and professional services. They are young and old, male and female, and are present in every ethnic group. They come from every imaginable vocation and avocation. Leadership, in other words, is not the private reserve of a few charismatic men and women who are genetically given some special power. Similarly, leadership is not about organizational power or authority. It’s also not about celebrity or wealth, the family you are born into, being a CEO, president, general, or prime minister. Leadership is a set of skills and abilities that are accessible and learnable by anyone who has the motivation and desire to learn it.Caring is at the heart of leadership.
Contrary to a lot of public myth about how managers have to be cold and rational — “it’s not personal, it’s just business” — research indicates just the opposite. The highest performing managers and leaders are the most open and caring. The best demonstrate more affection toward others and want others to be more open with them. Exemplary leaders excel at improving performance through more attention to the human heart. The climb to the top of the summit is arduous and steep. The challenges are immense and often frightening. Against these odds leaders must sustain hope and offer encouragement. And the research is very clear. High hope leads to high performance.