Leadership is a Means Not an End

True LeaderYou will find more true leaders—self-leaders—among teachers, nurses, and community organizers than you will among CEOs, politicians, and celebrities. It is the former who lead for the purpose of effecting positive change—change that has far-reaching and often immeasurable impact.  Their motive for leadership is not a hunger for power.  True leadership come from a desire to use your knowledge and ability in a way that has the greatest positive impact.  True leadership is about contributing to the greater good.  It is not self-serving.  Yes, it is necessary to empower yourself to lead, but that is a means to a far greater end.

We must not confuse leadership with power. Leaders always have some measure of power, rooted in their capacity to persuade, but many people with power are without leadership gifts. Their power derives from money, or from the capacity to inflict harm, or from control of some piece of institutional machinery, or from access to the media. A military dictator has power. The thug who sticks a gun in your ribs has power. Leadership is something else.

—John Gardner

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