The word leader brings to many people’s minds characteristics of intellectual strength, decisiveness and focused commitment. The authors of the new book Today’s Inspired Leader published by Fig Factor Media, demonstrate their own personal stories and statements about defining leadership.
Below are their definitions of what a leader is and should be:
James Oberhofer, a sought-after crew chief in the National Hod Rod Association (NHRA) Circuit
“I’m a believer of people. I’m someone who chooses to look at what is good in someone and not what is bad. I feel that everyone is capable of being good at certain jobs, and as a leader, you need to find that out. Focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do. I am also honest and someone who will have your back no matter what. I also understand that sometimes you must fail before you succeed!”
“A leader is a person who can first of all get people to believe in their direction or way of thinking so that everyone is pulling in the same direction. It is someone who can identify a problem and handle it in a positive manner without disrupting the team. A good leader is also someone who can admit and learn from failure.”
Veronica Sósa, founder of Business Fit International Magazine, Business Fit Magazine and SHE (Seminar for Hispanic Entrepreneurs in Europe)
“I want people to learn that co-creation is one of the most important things about being a leader. It is a beautiful thing to dance with someone else, creating with harmony, respect, empathy and ethics, especially in our current society where we have lost so many of these values. Magic can happen when you dance with others. Also important is learning how to ask for help from others. When you fall, don’t be afraid to ask someone to help you back up.”
“A leader is not someone who is always on top, it is someone who has been in the darkness, but learns from the situation. It may not be easy, but you must look at things from a different perspective, it may not always be positive, but it is important to ask, what or why must I learn from this situation? Life is like a dance, sometimes you don’t like the music, but you must keep dancing, the trick is to appreciate the music being played. A leader is someone with empathy who is inspired by others to keep moving in order to reach their personal and collective goals.”
Mary K. Mathis, founder and CEO of Latinarrific, a company that provides an inspirational, transformational platform to help the American Latina be her best bicultural self
“I want the people I connect with to understand and practice their own power of unlimited thinking. I want them to appreciate that it is a process, and a discipline. This is a power that we are all born with, we lose it, and then we work to regain it. My life has been such a gift in reinforcing that mentality. My suggestion is for people to really learn and develop their power of unlimited thinking. It requires leaving one’s comfort zone. The paths for expanded thinking are many, and are unique to each person. Keep it as a focus and remember this universal truth: you become what you think about. It is that simple.”
“What makes someone a leader is his or her courage to forge ahead into the unknown and bring people with them.”
Brian Marshall, founder of Transformational Growth Partners (TGP)
“The biggest thing about me as a leader is that I’ve learned that being a leader is someone who serves. I spent a lot of my career being on the stage as the front man and I love being behind the scenes helping people.
Amy Wasson-Throw, President of the Amy Throw Group and creator of the “Full Circle 7 “, a transformational approach to executive presence and leadership. Full Circle 7 helps people become powerful, respected leaders that others want to follow
“I want people to learn that the wisest leaders bring their full humanity to leadership. I have taken all of the challenging situations my life, failures, errors in judgement and sought to learn from them and become a more authentic, approachable and supportive leader. Every leader can benefit from this approach. I believe that as leaders we must always be learning, growing and looking for opportunities to lift others up, support them and give them opportunities to grow and develop.”
“Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less. A leader must commit to modeling the behavior they seek from others, pursuing ways to understand the unique make up of each person they lead and creating opportunities that enable them to mature, learn and “build their wings along the way”. Leaders influence others to always do the right thing, even when it costs them something.“
Michelle Rohrer-Lauer, an award-winning interior and furniture design professional
“I consistently hold myself to the highest standards in order to lead by example. Everyone needs to produce his or her best work, every time. Leaders are consistent, keep their promises and generate positive energy that motivates their staff and inspires trust in their clients. Leaders share their vision and values with others, and they never stop learning.”
Gabriela Rodil, an award-winning entrepreneur, international speaker, author, and gifted CEO with expertise in the areas of financial strategy, systems management, and merger & acquisitions
“What I wish people would know about me as a leader is that I have a softer side because people usually think I am super tough. We have to be different people in different circumstances.”
“For anyone to be a leader it is important to continue to learn. If you ever think you’re done learning, you’re doomed! We’re forever going be a work in progress as a leader.”
Michele Kelly, co-founder and CEO of K + L Storytellers, a brand story and content agency for companies who feel living their values is as important as making a profit.
“At the center of every great story is a passionate heart. You love what you do and who you do it for. Leaders have the rare opportunity to build story-driven organizations where people grow and thrive. Telling your story with your team and customers and influencers means sharing a part of yourself with bravery and honor. In turn, people will share their stories with you. When this happens, it’s a pivot moment in favor of trust and the nurturing of great leadership.”
Jennifer Wilken, financial advisor for Edward Jones
“As a leader I still have room to grow. I have accomplished some things and I still have so much more to learn.”
“What makes someone a leader is not the title, it’s the actions. A leader is someone who gives to others. It’s not about what we receive, but what we give to others. I have a phrase that I use with my team that says, ‘be significant, change lives and even yours.’ By changing others’
lives, we change our own. That to me is leadership!”
Neli Vazquez Rowland, co-founder and pioneering architect of A Safe Haven (ASH), a social and economic development model that rebuilds the lives of people impacted by poverty, behavioral healthcare, and substance abuse among other things
“What I want people to learn about me as a visionary and as a leader is that I have a proven ability to do research, interpret it and communicate it for others to understand and support it. This gift has allowed me to be an early adopter and a trailblazer for investing and solving social and economic challenges before anyone else ever saw the opportunity.
“A leader is willing to go into the direction that drives them to their passion, even when they are going against major headwinds, sometimes. If they have a plan, and ways to inspire and communicate it, to others, they will come and follow you.”
Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz, CEO of JJR Marketing and The Fig Factor publishing house, 14-time author, international speaker, philanthropist and cancer survivor
“What makes a leader is someone that is able to become self-aware, self-manage, is able to enable, and is able to inspire by their actions.”
Everyone has their own view of leadership. In Today’s Inspired Leader, available at Amazon, we see that leadership itself comes in many forms. Reaching our personal goals as entrepreneurs depends on how each of us finds the leadership style that fits with our aspirations, strengths, and inspirations.