Most successful leaders never set out to become a leader…they set out to make a difference. In doing so they find themselves taking the lead on something that is near and dear to them. And only then do we call them leaders. They become “accidental leaders”.
While you can train a person to lead, you can’t make them lead. If they don’t really want to make a difference, they will never lead. Perhaps you know some people like this, who early in their careers are thrust into a supervisory or management position “in charge of people”, and eventually run into trouble because they try to manage people without providing any leadership.
I frequently hear complaints from people who report to such managers. I hear that the manager “has no vision”, “is directionless”, “lacks passion” and so on. It’s sad but true.
I also know of many seasoned managers who once had the passion for making a difference, but now just struggle to keep up with things. Too many of them end up fighting daily fires and feeling totally spent at the end of each day. It doesn’t have to be that way.
There are some managers, and non-managers who are clearly making a real difference in the world.