A good leader provides purpose, direction and motivation to their followers.

As a leader, you first must provide purpose. Purpose is a crystallized plan of action of what it is that you want to accomplish. The plan should include a method by which you obtain a goal, objective or outcome you are intending to accomplish. To increase the success of accomplishing your goal, objective or outcome, you should solicit feedback from your followers before implementing a plan of action.

Second, a leader provides direction. This is the art of developing your followers so that they will see and get involved in obtaining the end result of your plan of action. Direction is the method by which you intend to accomplish your goal, objective or outcome. In other words, HOW do you plan to accomplish your desired goal, objective or outcome?

Third, a leader must provide motivation. Motivation is the ability of the leader to empower their followers to accomplish the mission no matter how easy or difficult it may appear. Motivation is contagious. This means if you as a leader show enthusiasm and confidence, your followers will be more likely to do the same.

The last thing a leader must do is provide feedback. Feedback is the process by which a leader obtains constructive criticism from their followers so that they may become a better leader. A good leader should always strive to better themselves. You, as a leader should also not think highly of yourself. A leader should incorporate an atmosphere of selfless service. This means your followers feel confident in approaching you with their problems, concerns and feedback.

I challenge you to do the following assignment:

Think of 5 people who have influenced you in your life.

List their names and write a short story (200 words or less) of how this person influenced you through purpose, direction and motivation. This person can be a coach, teacher, your mother or father, your brother or sister or just anyone who made a profound influence on your life.

For example, my father was the first person who had a profound influence on my life. I would write a short story of how my father provided purpose, direction and motivation in my life.

Ex: My father provided purpose to my life by explaining to me how God and Jesus watched over me and that they have always existed; there was no beginning or ending to them, they are immortal. Latter, when I was a teenager, my father provided purpose to my life by allowing me the responsibility of driving our station wagon with trailer hitched on the end down a mountain highway.

(I would continue this story showing how my father provided direction and motivation in my life).

You would then continue the assignment describing how 4 other people influenced your life by providing purpose, direction and motivation in your life.

Finally, A good leader must be firm but fair in their judgment and refrain from authoritative leadership practices. I also believe a good leader must believe in a higher power and have a strong spiritual foundation.

Author's Bio: 


B.A. in Recreation Bethany College Lindsborg, KS
A.O.S. in Microcomputers/Telecommunications KCMO
U.S. Army Signal Corps Top Secret Communications Ft. Gordon, GA

15 years instructing leadership courses in the Army Reserves
Courses Instructed:

PLDC - Primary Leadership Development Course
BNCOC- Basic Non-Commissioned Officers Course
ANCOC- Advanced Non-Commissioned Officers Course

Some of the classes instructed include but not limited to:

Human Behavior and Motivation
Military Leadership
Effective Communications
Effective Writing
Risk Management and Risk Assessment
Combat Operations and Combat Orders
Problem Solving and Decision Making
Property Accountability
Land Navigation
Map Reading