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Most leaders envisage the fruits of their labour and more so in a competitive and hyper inflated society. They picture a car, the profits they will achieve and etc. It is sensible to think so maybe and you are probably already thinking that this cannot be a leader and narrowing down what it actually means to be leader, and that is true.

It is true that leadership is the essence of leading and motivating those whom you lead to achieve specific goals. However, I deliberate that the 21st century has defied the norms of leadership and while it has become one of the things everyone wants to be; the issue therein is the lack of understanding this. Modern day leaders are people who have come up with great business ideas and execute them and as soon as that they design placates engraved ‘leader’ with their names above them. Fancy, positive… many words can describe this and even though in the grandstand of goodness they simply serve as a reminder that we are capable of achieving whatever we put our minds to, but the sad note is that the philosophy behind this is misplaced.

There is a difference between a businessman and a leader and this is where the jinx is; the inability to differentiate between these two concepts. While both can coexist to some degree in some measures but it is not always the case. The term ‘leadership’ is without a doubt glorious and carries a significant amount of respect and perhaps that is why everyone wants to have it and maybe that is why everyone who is perceived to lack leadership skills takes this in a negative way and even though we are aware that it is not everyone who can be a leader, we are most likely to believe that we at least possess a degree of leadership in us.


The concept of leadership nowadays has changed entirely. This is influenced by the social standards of our society and the things that motivate our social and emotional status on a macro scale. The ‘soft-life’ era, as it is called in today’s times, has redefined success and given us a new image of a leader. It has shifted what leadership is from a skill set measure to a physical one, where a leader is merely assessed on a criteria that has nothing to do with skills but must tick the boxes of having money, driving an expensive car, using the most expensive things, buying the most expensive liquor and wearing the most expensive and branded clothes.

On the other hand, a woman will have to drive the latest and most expensive car, a luxury brand bag etc, and this to the society we live in is ‘inspiring’, it is motivating and it is what makes them feel driven to work because they want to look the same way, to have the same things and to be ‘leaders’.

This misplaced description of leadership has resulted in small businesses that do not make it past the first year because the people running them do not focus on sharpening their leadership and management skills in order to adequately run their businesses. Their focus is on making money and buying expensive things. This is not to suggest that profitability is not important in a business because it is. However, it should not be the focus so much so that you run the business down. A business does not only survive on profitability but it also requires good management and leadership skills, which are able to meet the problems that arise in the business.

When problems arise in the business, such as production flow disturbances, conflict, employee dissatisfaction etc, they do not need profits to solve them, but they need management and leadership skills and the inability to solve them will definitely harm the potential to make profits. Therefore a leader must lead by character and skills, they must possess management skills that are fundamental to growing a business that will be profitable and not only so but that will also grow into something beyond just a small business. A leader must have goals and must ensure that their standing as far as skills and knowledge are concerned meets the needs of those goals.