1. To survive, every person is engaged in a continuous struggle to satisfy needs or relieve tension.
2. Some means is required to satisfy a need (tools, food, money, physical strength, knowledge, etc.).
3. Most needs of individuals are satisfied in relationships with people or groups, so people and groups become the means we rely on most heavily for the satisfaction of our needs. (We do not grow our own food, make our own clothes, get our education by ourselves, etc.).
4. People actively seek out those relationships in which the other person is seen as having the means for satisfying their needs.
5. People join groups, then, because they hope that membership will offer them the means for satisfying their needs. Conversely, they leave groups when they no longer get their needs satisfied.
6. Group members accept influence and direction of a leader only if they regard him or her as a person through whose means they will get their needs satisfied. People follow (and permit their activities to be directed by) a leader whom they believe will get them what they need or want.
It follows that a leader earns and retains his or her role as a leader only if in the eyes of the group members “following the leader” holds out the promise that they will get their needs met. I have spent most of my professional life identifying and describing the critical attitudes, skills, methods, and procedures required to make this promise a reality.
No longer is it such a mystery how certain persons become effective in earning and retaining leadership of their groups and how others do not. Through research and observation, social scientists have identified many of the critical requirements of effective leadership. It is my aim to organize this knowledge so that it is more easily understandable to those who aspire to become leaders and more available for their use.
(Pssst….this is where great leadership training comes in handy.)