Realization: Leadership isn’t Enough
A lot of people lay claim to the title of ‘leader’ simply because it makes them seem qualified for a more prestigious position. However, many fail to understand how effective leadership works, effective being the operative word. In my personal experience, I have seen people hold leadership positions because they were academically qualified, but lacked the skill of effective leadership required to make impact in that role.
Throughout this book, you will see terms like developing;, aspiring; and effective leadership. The reason I don’t use the word ‘leadership’ alone is simply because it doesn’t always convey its full meaning and true purpose. The unfortunate reality is that there are a number of people occupying various leadership roles who are ineffective and flawed in their leadership methods. The purpose of this book is to help aspiring, morally driven leaders realize, grow and develop their leadership capabilities as it relates to an ever-changing business culture. You will also see the acronym SWAL throughout this book, and it means ‘Swiss-Army Leadership.’ Just as a Swiss- Army knife is diverse in its functionality, the same must also be true for aspiring leaders in modern society.
The SWAL concept is the basis for this book, and is a model I have developed from my 10 years of living and working in 6 different countries. What I have learned more than anything is that people are different; it sounds like a simple realization, but it is crucial to effective leadership. SWAL requires one to dig deeper and not just deal with people at surface level. In order to truly earn one’s respect and trust, it is vital that we understand the importance of using our social skills to reach each individual in a group. The SWAL concept is my solution to achieving effective, modern day leadership by adapting these social skills and using them to leave a legacy and acquire a sense of fulfillment. Implementing the SWAL model will help heighten one's awareness to the different personalities and motivating factors present within society. As I mentioned earlier, there is a huge difference between effective leadership and mere leadership. The good news is that effective leadership can be developed.
There is a popular saying that “leaders are born; not made.” Well, from my experience, I strongly disagree; effective leaders can be developed! I am living proof of this fact. Now, you may wonder who I am to make such a bold claim. While I am not a famous athlete like LeBron James, a billionaire CEO like Mark Zuckerberg, or a well-known speaker like Tony Robbins, I am a young man who has lived a fulfilling and eventful life. From the age of eighteen, I have had the rare privilege of being in various leadership roles in six different countries. I accepted the challenge to effectively lead people from all walks of life; from the United States to Poland, France, Germany, Italy and Austria; and I have had the opportunity to see and experience life in its different forms. My experiences have been amazingly beautiful, with a fair share of disheartening ones. Through my mistakes and my triumphs, I have realized how important effective leadership is in regards to personal and collective success as well as emotional fulfillment. In the end, there is no doubt that I have been blessed, as what I do is something I never could have imagined growing up in a tiny rural town in Western Pennsylvania. My experiences have inspired me to help people to become more effective leaders in all aspects of their lives, and understand that they can change their life and mentality for the better if they make the commitment and take action! I have the experience to prove that the Swiss-Army Leadership concept is a model for success for everyone from the most prominent business person to the parent coaching their son or daughter’s youth soccer team. In this book, I will also share personal experiences which I hope will prove to you the effectiveness of SWAL. It is my hope that at the end, you will have gained a new perspective on what effective modern-day leadership looks like.
There is no doubt that our society needs to move away from the ineffectiveness of past methods, and move forward into developing quality, morally-driven leaders. These are the people who will eventually lay the path to bringing our broken society back together again. I strongly believe that societal ills such as racism, the love of money, selfishness, etc. can be directly traced to a lack of effective leadership. So let’s dive into what it means to be a SWALeader.