The year was 1972.
Fans were desperately waiting at Munich’s Olympic Stadium to witness the completion of the men’s marathon. These men have run a 26-mile long marathon and spectators were now desperately waiting for them to enter the stadium. Suddenly, a man German man called Norbert Sudhaus entered the stadium and the entire crowd erupted with cheers and jeers.
Just moments later, the security guards in the stadium tackled the guy and stopped him from completing the race. Turns out, Sudhaus was just an imposter who was waiting right outside the stadium and was trying to pull a bluff by entering the marathon through trickery. Sadly, we have such pretenders in every walk of life… soon the actual contestant Frank Shorter, an American entered the stadium and was later greeted with equal cheers and praises.
Leadership is a complicated role as most leaders are tasked with plenty of responsibilities. Just fulfilling these responsibilities can often pose a threat to their image building as they are too preoccupied with accomplishing necessary tasks behind the curtain.
As a result, other pretenders come to the forefront and try to claim all the credit for themselves.
If you’re experiencing someone like Sudhaus in your organization as well. It is now time that you learn how you should differ between a primitive leader and a cunning pretender once and for all.
So without further ado, let’s delve into the details of learning what sets true leaders a class-apart.
Leaders Have a Different Mindset!
One of the greatest traits which set a leader apart from the rest is his/her mindset. A good leader has a mindset which gives them the ability to think about the requirement of others first before themselves. They care deeply about their subordinates and ensure that their mental health and well-being comes first. They work with their teams with the idea of providing them with greater benefit. Whereas, a pretender is merely focused on the outcome. They have a more selfish mindset where they are merely focused on the outcomes rather than the best interest of the team or the well being of people. A pretender will always focus on achieving goals and objectives that favours them.
Leaders are More Conscious About Missions
Another trait that sets the leader a class-apart from the rest is their ability to sustain their ideology to achieve missions/objectives rather than centralizing their focus on holding their firm position as a lead. On the contrary, a pretender will not think twice before giving up a mission/objective and instead worry about securing their own position within the organization. To be a good leader, it takes a lot as they are more sacrificial in nature. At times, when it comes to stepping down from the leadership position, a good leader will always give up on his position for the sake of fulfilling the organizational mission. Whereas, a pretender will only try to evade the situation and will work hours on stabilizing his own position in the firm.
Pretenders Will Only Make Promises Which they Can’t Keep
Another thing that will separate a successful leader from a cunning pretender is the way, the pretender make promises. When it comes to achieving goals and objectives, leaders can be counted as individuals who can finish tasks at the said time. Whereas a pretender is an individual who will over-promise to deliver but when it comes to fulfilling his or her promise, he or she will eventually fail to deliver. As a result, the business will incur a great loss and the pretender will smoothly move to the side. In the end, a pretender is just only a pretender so he or she will never be able to fully execute.
Leaders Love Their Jobs but Pretenders Don’t
One of the best things about leaders is that everything they do, they do it out of passion. This love to perform is something which makes them stand a class apart from the rest and outshines them as a true potential leader. On the contrary, a pretender fails to achieve that mark as he or she is devoted more towards the profitability and rewarding aspects. He or she wouldn’t care much about his/her role but his/her main concern is how effectively he or she is going to boost productivity for the greater good. While leaders are devoted to the survivability and sustainability of their organizations in the long haul, businesses constantly stay on the lookout for opportunities to polish up their own images. Things such as honesty, loyalty or commitments don’t hold much significance in the eyes of leaders.
Speaking of Success…
Leaders are always inclined at achieving success big in their own lives, and hence, they have a positive player mindset which sets them a class apart. According to Rabbi Harold Kushner,
“The purpose of life is not to win. The purpose of life is to grow and to share. When you come to look back on all that you have done in life, you will get more satisfaction from the pleasure you have brought into other people’s lives than you will from the times that you outdid and defeated them.”
From the dawn of our professional lives, we have only faced competition. And being in a competition is not a bad thing… However, true leaders eventually learn that the goal/objective is to move past that barrier. They develop their own personal style where they look beyond the competition and focus their efforts on team-building, team management, professional harmony, business progression and more.
So there you go, here are a few elements that will always set a leader apart from the pretenders. Not only will it help you differentiate between a leader and a pretender, but it will also motivate you on how to become a better leader all on your own. Do you find the article informative and helpful? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.