Leaders arise from a variety of circumstances. For some it starts with curiosity about how things work and could work better. It is common for one person asking questions and pursuing answers to become a leader if they succeed. These leaders have used whatever scientific methods are available at the time and obsessively experiment with elements. It started with melting ore to extract metal. Leaders harnessed the power of the water driven machine to grind grain into flour. Leaders tinkered with heating water to produce energy and developed the steam engine.
Thomas Edison was able to produce direct current electricity and Nikola Tesla made electric power feasible with alternating current electricity.
John D Rockefeller manufactured oil for lamps until the invention of the light bulb. He modified his chemical production process to produce gasoline for automobiles.
Henry Ford manufactured automobiles, but they were too expensive. So, he experimented with his manufacturing process and settled on the production line and it worked.
Leaders see the possibilities of things. They are realists and doers who are driven to make improvements. They are seldom found for very long in bureaucracies that depend on things being done the same way.
Leaders are often referred to as “idea guys”. It takes good judgment and an eye for opportunity to succeed. Leaders go where they can solve the problems they have identified.
Leaders insist on understanding everything that is going on in the group they lead. Leaders should know how to perform every job in the group and work at making the group highly effective.
Too many of our elected officials are merely “speech givers” and should be working as “announcers”. Too many of our voters continue to elect candidates who are clueless.
We have had bad leaders and to describe the difference between good leaders and bad leaders, I use a 9 block grid I concocted from Fr. John Powell/s book “Fully Human, Fully Alive”. I rate “Alive” on one axis and “Human” on the other. This results in a grid that gives you: Not Human and Not Alive, Partially Human and Partially Alive and Fully Human and Fully Alive. My favorite to describe a bad leader was “Not Human Fully Alive”. They do the most damage.
Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader