We hear a lot of talk about leadership, what it is, how to achieve it and the qualities a good leader has. Many years ago when I first met my husband Moe (and being a proud Italian), he was kidding around when he found that my mother was 100% Hungarian, he said, “What did the Hungarians ever do?” I replied, “Have you ever heard of Attila the Hun?” That stopped him in his tracks and since good old Attila was the first to have the nerve to cross the Alps and attack the Romans, he never mentioned it again except to joke around. Then someone gave us a book on “Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun” which was a joke, or so we thought.
Wondering what kind of leadership traits Attila might have possessed, I picked up the book and began to read. Now many of you are thinking that Attila was a warrior, that he pillaged, looted and killed most of his enemies…not a good example of leadership. On the contrary, in looking at Attila and what he accomplished, he was a great leader, some historians say greater than Caesar or Alexander the Great, just not well known. So I’m going tell you about one of my countrymen…and some qualities of leadership.
Attila was sent to Rome as a young man when his father died. Many countries swapped their young with Rome so Rome could instill in them the Roman way and thus spread
their philosophy. Attila did not take to the excesses of Rome, the luxury, the food and such, but rather than vocally objecting, he learned their ways: military, government and education. He made mistakes but always persevered in his quest for knowledge. When he returned to his homeland, he began to consolidate his position with the many tribes that made up the Huns. They were from all over Europe and had many differing ways, customs etc. He felt that he had the confidence to lead his people to greatness. To make a long story short he did just that. Rome was considered indestructible, but Attila in learning the ways of the romans, he ultimately conquered them.
So what do we know of leadership in the way of Attila to modern days? Self-confidence to believe you can meet the challenges of leadership, accountability to yourself and the people around you, Credibility, your words and actions must be believable to all around you, to be Trusted you must have the intelligence and integrity to provide the correct information. Tenacity or the unyielding drive to accomplish challenging goals. The strong persist and pursue through discouragement and deception. Leaders must develop empathy, an appreciation for and an understanding of the values of others. A Leader cannot vacillate or procrastinate as that confuses those around you and shows weakness. And above all a Leader must have Courageand literally be fearless as there will be times when leadership poses risks and a leader must be willing to take that risk even if it means defeat. So those are just a few qualities of leadership and if you look at not just Attila the Hun but any of our true leaders, they all possess these qualities in some way shape or form.
I invite you to click on the “Featured Link of the Week” (look to the right) – REALTOR® association leadership trainers share their expertise and experience in teaching others to how to lead.
Until Next Monday…