This paper will illustrate exactly what it takes become to great leader. I will demonstrate through the author’s purpose, themes, principles, and concepts. Being an effective leader requires an individual to communicate well with others, motivate, create vision, creativity, and be sure to never sabotage integrity. The author’s purpose is to teach others how to become great leaders and how to remain good leaders. Leaders must be willing to change themselves to make changes within the organization. This will allow leaders to perform to best of their best ability. I will give the reader my insight, and the insight of Maxwell and DuBrin on how to become a great leader and how to maintain great leadership abilities. A leader will show loyalty to themselves as well as the organization when integrity is being displayed. Our integrity should be at the forefront at all times and should never be sabotaged for any reason.
Many of the greatest leaders have had to overcome many challenges in life. Nothing in life comes easy, and to become a great leader requires time, patience, and persistence for many that were not born leaders. Leaders are required to guide others into great accomplishments. If someone isn’t able to lead others into great places and achieve great accomplishments, they’ve failed their followers. Leaders are not quitters and at the end of the day, the goal will be accomplished. Great leaders have been known to change the world. These are the people that shape our universe and create hope for better days. Some of us are born to be leaders and some us are taught. Everyone wasn’t born to lead, there has to be followers. It’s important to know what our positions are. The greatest leaders have all had one thing in common, persistence.
They never gave up on accomplishing their own goals and the goals of the organization. Often we find ourselves unprepared for the position in which we apply for. I never want to feel inadequate about a job I am hired for and not deliver what is required of me. As a leader, I want to perform my job proficiently and relay what I’ve learned to others so they too can become great leaders one day. If I am not able to direct others into the right direction, I would never feel accomplished as a leader. Anyone that is able to create a vision, deliver the vision to others and become an effective leader has mastered what it takes to influence others to create positive outcomes.
DuBrin defines leadership as the ability to inspire confidence and support among the people who are needed to achieve organizational goals. The ultimate goal should be to benefit the organization and maintaining your integrity while doing so. Lack of character will cause us to fail and do things we are not proud of. As a leader we should always be willing to achieve greatness and lead others down the same path. Maxwell’s purpose gave his readers insight on what it takes to be or become a great leader. Maxwell wants us to accept leadership as an influence with the ability to obtain followers. He also explains what it takes to remain a good leader for life. Leading never stops and we must go through all levels of leadership to achieve our goals. Maxwell, keeps his instructions simple, he sees leadership as influence to others. If we don’t have followers there is no one to lead, which defeats the purpose of being a leader. As a leader we have a tremendous amount of responsibility to lead others to achieve great things. DuBrin and Maxwell’s purpose of both books are to provide us with valuable information to obtain healthy, long lasting leadership positions. As leaders, we are long term thinkers who see beyond the days crisis, described by Maxwell. Good leaders are able to see long-term effects on particular situations and make the best choice possible.
Leaders have to prioritize in order to be successful leaders and lead others to success. Prioritizing allows us to always be prepared for the unknown. If we are able to categorize tasks with priorities and have a successful ending, it shows that we are able to make important decisions when it matters the most. One of the main subjects discussed in “Developing the Leader Within You”, would have to be change. Maxwell expressed the point that a leader without change is an unchanged organization. An unchanged leader will not be a successful leader. A leader has to be willing to make changes to do what is important for the organization. A leader should never become so obsessed with their desires and goals and forget about the ultimate goals of the organization. The goals of the organization should be the first priority. There should never be any goals within a leader that out weighs the organization’s purpose. When a leader resists change just as much as followers there is a breakdown in morale and could cost the company more than money. In any aspect of life we all have to change for a better end result, it’s considered compromise. DuBrin did not focus too much on change. He did state that accepting change is the more responsible thing to do.
It’s natural to resist change, but every leader has to accept change in order to be successful. If the leader is excited about the changes this will motivate others to feel excited about it as well. Maxwell expressed that our attitude is key to a successful leader. We have to take responsibility for our attitudes in life. He stated, “God chooses what we go through, we choose how we go through it. Our attitudes can make or break an organization. If we are displaying a bad attitude to our followers, how are we creating leaders? It’s impossible to mold followers into leaders if we are not positive demonstrators. Ultimately the theme of Maxwell’s book provides us with proper tools to develop a good leader. I found that our attitude and change are the two most profound themes of this book to create and maintain a solid foundation to becoming a great leader. Maxwell describes integrity as the most influential ingredient to leadership. Integrity and ethics both play a big role when discussing leadership. We should never compromise who we are for anyone.
If there is something that needs to be done that does not fall in line with our morals, we should never compromise that. We should always know what is right and what is wrong. Integrity is considered our personal standards. Our integrity defines who we are and our actions rest solely upon the basis of our level of integrity. Leaders have to instruct their followers on believing in something and never compromising their integrity for acceptance. Maxwell and DuBrin 100% agree when it comes to integrity. They both believe it is very important for leaders to be honest, trustworthy, and display integrity when dealing with others. Both authors believe in doing the right thing at all times no matter what the situation. Integrity keeps us align in what is expected from a great leader. People become confident in us when we display integrity. Maxwell describes it as simple as possible, when our character is low, so are our standards. When our standards are low we have no power to lead others in the right direction. When integrity is present, our standards are higher.
Motivation, creativity, vision, and people are the primary concepts to creating a healthy work environment. A great leader can motivate others to do well and help them find what there strengths are. Leaders should never belittle their subordinates. In order for followers to keep a positive outlook on what organization wishes to accomplish in the long run. Being a good listener and asking yourself, “how can I make more people successful” is a very valuable question (Maxwell, 2002). Creativity goes a long way, leading others with creativity makes it a fun and energetic environment.
A leader has to provide followers with a clear precise vision of what is expected from them. Leaders have to know where they are going and persuade others to go as well. Leaders lastly, have to invest time into people. People should feel like the individual they are following have all together. Dubrin and Maxwell both agree on the concepts listed above. They seem to both have the same values and understanding. Maxwell discusses a lot about spirituality in his book. DuBrin did not include anything spiritual in the textbook, for the sake that it’s a textbook.
Maxwell’s book, “Developing the Leader Within You”, has been an inspiration to me. I found the book very helpful information. As an individual, who is seeking a leadership position, both books have been very helpful in this process. I have learned so much about the proper steps to take in order to remain an effective leader and not a for the moment leader. For the most part, Maxwell and Dubrin ideas were mirror image to each other. Dubrin, went into more detail, do to the fact that it’s a textbook. The most important lesson learned for me would have to be, influence. Influencing others is a very vital part to becoming a great leader. Maxwell stated, “people want to be led, not managed.” We have to allow individuals to have their own personalities, their own goals, and ambitions. It’s up to the leader, to lead them in right direction. It is a manager’s responsibility to manage their current state. In conclusion, I agree with Maxwell when he says that we are all leaders.
At some point in our lives we have influenced someone in one form or another. We should make sure we are a good influence and provide our followers with a great map through the process. Maxwell realized that he was providing leaders with good information, however he couldn’t understand why their leadership skills were so temporary. He realized that he wasn’t providing them with the root of what makes an effective leader, making individuals feel worthwhile is the key to a great leader. Ensuring followers feel worthwhile will help them feel, as they are apart of the contribution. Making others feel important means a great deal to me. I am very eager to apply the concepts to my everyday life and in my future as a leader. Communication, motivation, vision, creativity, and people are key factors to creating great leaders.
Dubrin, A. D. (2013). Leadership : Research Findings, Practice, and Skills 7th ed. OH: South-Western Cenage Learning
Maxwell, J. C. (2002). Developing the leader within you. TN: Thomas Nelson Publishing