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Power of leadership: Confidence to achieve, inspire others

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Some view leadership as a position riddled with onerous levels of responsibilities and restraints. Such thoughts often are used to avoid leadership roles.

However, while leadership is demanding, it’s also an opportunity to make an enormous difference and be a most rewarding and satisfying life experience.

The phrase “power of leadership” may have a negative connotation for some, yet here it is intended to describe an innate expression of self-confidence which sets apart successful leaders from ordinary ones. Self-efficacy heightens confidence to achieve personal goals while making a powerful difference for others.

All institutions are vulnerable, regardless of how great or well established, successful or revered.

Nevertheless, their viability is dependent on the depth of leadership competence. Therefore, their commitment to develop leasers is crucial.

Three of the most frequently recognized powerful sources of leadership effectiveness are:

(1) Power of expertise.

(2) Power of technology.

(3) Power of relationships.

Antithetically, it is well documented and repeatedly affirmed by experts and enlightened leaders that chastisement or belittling others is the least effective foundation for leadership accomplishment.

Successful leaders know that a foremost managing responsibility is identifying and mentoring potentially talented employees, then investing time and resources into their development and success.


Organizational failure may be caused by ineffective leadership or unforeseen circumstances. Rarely do organizations escape the normal ups and downs.

Research indicates organizational decline is largely self-inflicted, and recovery most often depends on leadership’s resiliency to meet disruptive influences.

Another crucial responsibility is ongoing training and development of next-generation leadership.

It is an ever-evolving key role of leaders at all levels to prepare skilled, competent leadership trainees.


The signature accomplishment of the exceptionally talented leader versus the marginally successful one is not the absence of difficulty, but the ability to rebound from setbacks, even cataclysmic catastrophes, stronger than before.

Great companies can fail and recover. Great social institutions can fail and recover.

Powerful leaders and their companies very rarely get totally or enduringly knocked out of the game when they remain mission-focused, regardless of circumstances.

Such leaders recover themselves and do what it takes to return to what originally made them successful, then reconfigure themselves to meet the new demands. Those who don’t or can’t reinvent themselves don’t recover.


Most importantly, senior leadership must focus on the company’s ability to maintain operational excellence and marketability into the unknown future.

This is facilitated by studying trends and counter trends to retain a competitive edge and prevent morphing from uniqueness to common.

Warning signs of detrimental organizational behavior include undisciplined leadership, hubris or excessive overconfidence, denial of risk, unwarranted panic and failure to celebrate success or avoiding or acknowledging failure.

These very human behaviors require a vigilant intervention of technical and ethical reality checks throughout the organization. When these behaviors are confronted, the result is a dedicated commitment to organizational excellence.


The antithesis of leadership is follower-ship – those looking for leaders to follow – an honorable partnership.

However, for those who love a challenge and relish personal growth, leadership is the role.

The opportunity to lead in today’s challenging and stimulating environment calls for our best talents, offering a sense of accomplishment and bountiful rewards.


The ultimate gift to a powerful leader is trust from others. A leader’s reward is the difference one contributes to the success of others.

The late Ray Kroc of McDonald’s fame said, “The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.”

Their ultimate gift is the standards that powerful leaders set for themselves and others.

This responsibility is excitingly rewarding and simultaneously arduous, which is the frisson of leadership.

Jon Craighead, president of Craighead Associates LLC (www.craigheadassociates.com) of Pocono Pines, has more than 20 years of experience as a consultant, working with senior executives in Fortune 100 corporations to sole proprietorships. Serving the Poconos and northeastern Pennsylvania, he can be reached at jon@craigheadassociates.com.

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Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@lvb.com

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