Defining a Leader

on 7:55 AM

Introduction

In the following article, these questions will be answered by looking at a famous story of Abraham Lincoln:


Leadership is often mentioned together with leader. So now, let us ponder over on what is a leader?

Plain explanations and boring definitions will only make you more frustrated and bored. Instead of pilingh you with tons of theories, let us look at a short extract, maybe you will have a better understanding on what is a leader.

"At the age of seven, a young boy and his family were forced out of their home. The boy had to work to support his family. At the age of nine, his mother passed away. When he grew up, the young man was keen to go to law school, but had no education.

At 22, he lost his job as a store clerk. At 23, he ran for state legislature and lost. The same year, he went into business. It failed, leaving him with a debt that took him 17 years to repay. At 27, he had a nervous breakdown.

Two years later, he tried for the post of speaker in his state legislature. He lost. At 31, he was defeated in his attempt to become an elector. By 35, he had been defeated twice while running for Congress. Finally, he did manage to secure a brief term in Congress, but at 39 he lost his re-election bid.

At 41, his four-year-old son died. At 42, he was rejected as a prospective land officer. At 45, he ran for the Senate and lost. Two years later, he lost the vice presidential nomination. At 49, he ran for Senate and lost again.

At 51, he was elected the President of the United States of America.

The man in question: Abraham Lincoln."

Extracted from "Walk with Lincoln"

Many have read similar articles like this. We read them, pause for a moment, shake our head and exclaimed, "Ahh that's the things real leaders are made of! I'll never be able to do that if I were him." Great leaders like Lincoln are perceived as "extraordinary creatures" who have amazing qualities that smoothes their path towards inevitable success.

This is what students believe nowadays: That leaders are innate with leadership qualities and if you do not have such qualities, there's little you can do to become a leader.

This serious conception is wrong, absolutely wrong! While nobody should deny that a person with natural leadership flair will be more outstanding than another person who does not have the flair, that does not mean that you cannot become a leader. Only a small minority is blessed with innate talents (we belong to the majority, too). However, with persistence, patience and hard work, you still can be a highly effective leader. Abraham Lincoln is one great example.

The famous American inventor, Thomas Alva Edison, once said, "Success constitutes 99% hard work and 1% talent." Hence, have confidence in yourself and together with hard work, you will be able to soar very high.

We have included a few definitions from a selection of dictionaries so that you have a better idea of what a leader is.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
"the person who directs or controls a group, organization, country etc."
Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary
"a person in control of a group, country or situation"
Encarta World English Dictionary
"somebody whom people follow: somebody who guides or directs others"

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