The following is reproduced, with permission, from Russ M. Miller, LLIF Chairman and CEO of the Performance Institute (

“The Power of Leadership”

Where have all the leaders gone? We used to have larger-than-life leaders. Public figures such as Franklin Roosevelt, Golda Meir, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Schweitzer and Martin Luther King who inspired millions with their visions. Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and J.P. Morgan were equally influential in the business arena.

Those leaders and others like them are gone. Today we have fame without accomplishment, form without substance. We elevate people to leadership status not for what they did but because of the way they did it.

We need leaders today more than ever before. People spend millions of dollars attending weekend leadership seminars that promise instant leadership: Follow directions, insert anybody, and out pops a leader.

These “one shot” instant leadership seminars probably produce fewer leaders than those made by accident, circumstance, or self-invention combined. These programs may reveal skills and theorize about leadership evolution, but they cannot teach the character and vision that are the raw materials of leadership.

Your character is a key element in your self-image. Your self-image determines to a large extent the level of success you achieve as a leader. The level of success you achieve as a leader, of course, helps determine the level of success your organization will achieve.

Developing leadership is hard work. It requires time and commitment to form the core habits that make up the foundation of leadership behavior. Top athletes know that it takes time and personal commitment to develop their skills into championship form. The same holds true for top leaders. They also know that it takes time and personal commitment to develop their skills into top leadership form.