The Leadership Spark

The most important attribute a leader can have is a "spark" that sparks off people to become ardent cause leaders achieving great results.

By Brent Filson - 1/2011

The difference between leaders is energy, energy communicated.  That communicated energy is what I call the “leadership spark.”   Leaders exhibiting the spark have an unmatched advantage over leaders who don’t have it.

I don’t have to explain it to you.  You know what it is.  You’ve seen leaders who have it and those who don’t.  

Some call that spark charisma.  In terms of leadership, spark, I believe, is the more descriptive word. 

“Charisma” comes from a Greek root meaning “favor, divine gift,” and denotes a special magnetic charm or appeal.  However, “spark”comes from an Old Norse root meaning “to trigger” and denotes the powerful initiation of some activity.

Leadership isn’t about simply being charming.  The word “leadership” comes from another Old Norse root meaning to “make go.”  Leadership is about making things go.  So, let’s stick with spark.   

Leadership spark is a manifestation of the leader’s exceptional vitality and purpose.  It can be seen in the persona, the speech and the activities of the leader who possesses it. 

What was your reaction to those leaders who had the spark? Most likely you were inspired. Leaders who have the spark enter into tasks with joyful eagerness, plunging into tasks like an elephant plunging into a lake in the mid-day heat. Even when they find the challenge difficult, when they may not feel up to it, they still joyfully engage in the task at hand. 

The spark is important but you also need to apply it.  I know of no better way to manifest and apply the spark than giving Leadership Talks

There is only one function to every Leadership Talk, that’s to have people be motivated to be your cause leaders in achieving great results. They won’t be so motivated unless you “spark them off.”  So a leader’s spark is useless unless it engenders a spark in the people.  And the spark must not just come and go but be a continual sparkle of joy, compassion, and wisdom that defines you where ever you go and in whatever undertaking you are engaged in.


1/2011© The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He is founder and president of The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. – Celebrating 25 years of helping leaders of top companies worldwide achieve outstanding results every day. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get his FREE report "7 Steps To Leadership Mastery"