Why Great Leaders are Uncommon

Great Leaders are Needed

Man writing the motivational message - Be Greater Today - on a blank virtual grey interface with copyspace using a black marker.

Author Warren Bennis stated, “We need more than one leader. As never before, we need leaders in all of our organizations and our institutions. We need leaders in every community, corporation, and country.” We need people with official leadership titles and those who rise to the occasion to lead without an official title. More leaders are needed, but not just any type of leader. We need great leaders who positively influence others toward a common purpose and vision. Great leaders are needed in business, non-profits, governments, community relations, and in homes.

However, there is a sad reality. There are two reasons why an average or potentially great leader does not become or remain great. Let’s discuss them.

There is a shortage of leaders who lead with conviction. In recent years we have seen corporate executives, government leaders, spiritual advisers, and non-profit directors fall from greatness. The main reason for this is because the leader chose to compromise their character or integrity. When this happens they typically begin to cheat, lie, manipulate, bully, intimidate, cut corners, and do whatever they can. This is done so they can uphold their position, personally gain, or to obtain the results they want. When a leader begins to compromise and act unethically or immorally they start walking on a faulty path that will eventually collapse.

There are other times when a leader loses concentration on their main roles, they forsake essential attributes of leadership, or they are not skilled enough for the position. These leaders could uphold their standards, convictions, and values but they fail in one or more of the above areas. The roles, attributes of a leadership position, and skill level should be an essential focus. When a leader drifts away from one or more of those areas they will soon become ineffective.

What the world needs now are leaders, like you, to step up and be great leaders. Place being a person of character and integrity as one of your main concerns. Avoid being tempted to compromise on what you know is right. Take the time to place your attention on your most important leadership roles, adapt the leadership attributes most necessary for your position, and to sharpen your skills. I know, it’s easier said than done but we can do it. You are more likely to become a great leader if you do these things.

Great leaders create a positive ripple across the entire organization and into the community that adds value to the employees, stockholders, customers, potential customers, and onlookers. These leaders impact tomorrow for the better and leave a lasting legacy for the next generation. Everyone wins when a great leader is present. Take a stand and choose to be a great leader.

Question: How do you remain a great leader?

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • hey Dan – we want more people to be leaders but they also have to understand what the leader’s role is. I believe a leader’s role is ultimately to inspire other leaders and to step up to their potential. So, a great leader is always sowing the seeds for up and coming leaders. For me, choosing to be a great leader is developing new leaders!

    • Hello Vishnu, I totally agree with you about the role of a leader. Great leaders unlock the potential in others. Thank you for being a great leader!

  • Well that question would probably fill a book. – An important key is to keep the right priorities. Stay focused on the mission and vision and be careful not to make it about “me”

    • It sure would:) Great point, our priorities are essential. Thank you for reading and adding to the discussion.

  • I don’t consider myself a great leader or even exactly a leader. I do consider myself as an example though. My main focus for setting an example of integrity comes in how I follow, which includes supporting & encouraging my leaders. In that role, I hope I am encouraging others to be great leaders.

    • Being a good follower and serving those in authority is essential (and Biblical). Thank you for being both a follower and influencer.

  • “Everyone wins when a great leader is present.” Great line!

  • Jim Akers

    Nice post Dan. I like to think that the connector between success and strategy is people. Great leaders see this connection and look to put people in roles and positions where they can work at what they do best. It not charismatic, but a daily pursuit of helping people discover their untapped potential and to be part of a great vision.

    • Thank you Jim :) Great point, people really matter. Thank you for adding your wisdom here.