Andrew Carnegie reportedly once said that he wanted to put on his gravestone, “Here lies a man who knew how to put into his service more able men than he was himself” (Carnegie & Covey, 2017). If we think of these words as how Andrew Carnegie feels about what made him a success and an effective leader, we must recognize that leadership characteristics are multi-faceted and require more than just one component. Nahavandi (2015) shared that the definition of leadership effectiveness should consider all the roles and functions a leader performs and the way that should be measured is on the outcomes they achieve. The reason we as leaders are successful, is not through just sheer hard work, fancy degrees or strategies on leadership. Instead it is something that renowned leadership scholar Peter Drucker characterized as a focus on understanding what needs to be done, what they as leaders are good at and what difference can be made by executing on those things (Karlgaard, 2004). In order to be the best leader, you can be, you must understand yourself, and be surrounded by good and competent people, they will help you be successful. With his statement, Andrew Carnegie was showed us what he valued in his own leadership, and it was not only his shrewd mind or business savvy, it was his ability to build a coalition of people that were talented in ways he was not, that allowed the sum to be more than the parts of the team and the success to be greater, measured by the outcomes he achieved. Success is not a solo sport, and neither is leadership.
In the coming chapters, we will focus on the strategies and advice that will help any leader become more effective. The focus of these chapters will approach best practices of leadership components such as building self-awareness, taking accountability, leading in an ethical way and decision-making. The components of leadership that we will focus on are all practical applications of scholarly and real-world experience that should allow for others to gather a simple picture of places to review in order to build your leadership brand.
Barth-Thacker, Elizabeth; Marks, Janet; and Thompson, Bryan, "Handbook for Success in Leadership" (2017). Fischler College of Education: Student Articles. 12.