“I will never be the same”: Magnifying Leadership Skills

Worker with good attitude and leadership skills.
Inquire inside.”

The posting looked so ordinary, dull and dreary yet caught me two striking words: leadership skills.

“What makes a good leader?” I began to wonder. Nonetheless, I convinced myself that a somewhat boring job posting isn’t worth my time, so I gave my question a dismissive shrug, and then I continued to walk on my way.

But then again, the relentless thought of it remained on my mind even after reaching home. Hence, when I finally got the time that evening, I decided to ultimately gather answers, once and for all, to the very thought that had insistently kept me wondering that day: “What makes a good leader?” I grabbed my phone from the center table near the couch where I was seated, and in the hopes to get the answer right away, I sought for Google’s wide knowledge, “Hey, Google, what makes a good leader?”

Just as I expected my phone to recognize my voice each time I give it a command, it responded by generating various pages on leadership. It fed me a number of pages showing the qualities and characteristics that make good leaders. The collective list of these qualities, of course, did not miss to include courage, integrity, honesty, humility, focus, and the list would go on.

While it could not be argued that a good leader needs to manifest good qualities such as those mentioned, it appeared to me that those are just “generic” qualities of a leader; yet these alone would not suffice. I felt that there could be something more beyond than just being courageous, honest or focused. I felt that I could still do a lot more to amplify these skills. In the quest for deeper understanding, I went on asking myself further, “How can I magnify my leadership skill?” That time around, I sought for answers from own observations.

“How do I become a great father, Dad?” I overheard two men talking next to me when I was at a fast-food store one high noontime. I was certain I was not listening in, but the two respectable men conversed in a little too audible way. I figured they were father and son, and the son was keen to listen to his dad’s advice. “Well, you are going to have your own son in nine months now. I cannot tell how you should raise your own child, but one thing I can say, do your best to train your son to become the best father to his own children someday.” Then and there, I found the answer I had been wanting to get for days already, and I came up with a personal resolution: magnifying leadership skills requires replication.

We are good leaders when we possess admirable leadership qualities, but with replication, we become better ones. To replicate means we do not only possess courage, honesty, and humility, but also create people who are courageous, honest, and humble. When we do this, we elevate the essence of leadership: to train other people so they become able to train more people.

Now, I have known the reason why those “generic” qualities of a leader are not sufficient. My idea of leadership shifted from that of “lead so others can follow” to “lead so others can lead”. I realize that if we are genuinely passionate to craft the leaders in us, we should not settle at just being able to manage, train or direct people, but instead strengthen these skills by aiming to magnify the kind of leaders that we are to our subordinates, so that they can be the kind of leaders they can potentially be.

Tomorrow, I will again take my regular afternoon walk. It is still going to be the same lone stroll, the same busy crowd, and the same hectic streets. All these will be unchanged except for one thing: by the time I get past that establishment, my thoughts toward that conventional job posting will never be the same, and I will never be the same.

Administrative Assistant III