Because you own a business or are the manager of a department, that makes you “a leader”. There is a big difference between being “a leader”, and effective leading.

Some might say that “true leaders” are born. I would suggest that there may be certain traits that one is born with, but being an effective leader is a composite of much more than that. It is having “the right” traits, “the right attitude”, experience, timing, circumstances, and the desire to lead.

The most important factor however, is knowing your BIG WHY, and the BIG WHY of your enterprise.

To effectively lead, one must have the ability to attract people to “the cause” or “the purpose”. They must “buy into” the cause or purpose. That cause or purpose is the BIG WHY. When people “buy into” the cause or purpose, it becomes their cause or purpose. Forget people motivation. People have to be “motivated” to do something, because that something is probably not what they really want to do. Therefore, management tries to come up with all sorts of “motivational manipulations”. On the other hand, when people are “inspired”, they do not need external motivation. Their motivation comes from inside of them, because it is a part of their WHY. Traditional motivation requires external stimuli, but inspiration comes from “inside” of oneself. It is that “burning in the gut” feeling. That feeling of knowing what one is doing is the “right thing”.

This concept extends to employee loyalty, customer satisfaction and retention, effective marketing, and virtually all aspects of a business enterprise.

Once the leader comes up with the true BIG WHY, all sorts of marvelous things happens. As Goethe, the great German novelist, dramatist, poet, humanist, scientist, and philosopher said:

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back– Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.