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The Three Pillars of Great Leadership

publication date: Mar 12, 2016
 | 
author/source: John Dyson
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The Three Pillars of Great Leadership – Group Process, Not Being a Manager and Service

If you are seeking to become a leader or a better leader than you already are then this article will help you understand what the three fundamental pillars of great leadership are.

Leaders by themselves will not transform the world. They have the great potential to change people though by helping them realize their calling in life by serving and coaching them. Everything you learn about leadership or anything in life including this article however should be verified with your personal experience, values, and beliefs. It’s impossible to go along with something that is contradictory to something within you.

LeadershipAfter reading much of the leadership literature and personal experience leading others, I follow three general principles. The first pillar is that leadership is a group process, not an individual one. People often misunderstand leadership to mean you must be the sole trail blazer leading everyone. You must be the smartest, the bravest, and the best. Nothing could be further from the truth. Leaders and followers have the same stake in the journey. Without followers, there is no leader. Most times, you won’t be the smartest or even the best. But you are willing to lead and listen to the group. The role of being a leader is actually about being a good people person.

Second, leadership is not about managing people. There are leaders and then there are managers. Sometimes, they intersect. However, a leader is not necessarily a manager or vice versa. This is a mistaken belief confusing social hierarchy with leadership. In reality, real leaders don’t require social hierarchies because they have a vision and inner power that relies on their own strength. Leaders often shake up the existing norms and won’t be initially welcomed by managers or society at large. People like existing norms until they are fully convinced that a new way is better. Leaders have the forward vision to see what’s best for everyone and are willing to struggle to achieve that end. Managers, on the other hand, are there to keep the existing norm, to preserve what’s been working already. Most times, a manager is focused more on the past than the future.

Finally, leadership is all about serving others. People don’t become leaders to stroke their egos. At least not real leaders because most times a leader will face a lot of resistance. In being a leader, you are putting others whether it’s your customers, students, or community ahead of yourself. They are looking to fix an injustice against a group or to fulfill an unmeet need of a group of people. Leaders must be genuine and authentic, living the truth that they tell others. In that sense, leaders are role models for others.


In this article we have discussed the three pillars of leadership. These were that leadership is a group process, leadership is not the same as management, and leadership is all about serving others. I hope that after reading this article, you have a better understanding of what great leaders are made up of.

By   John  Dyson    


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