As I read this, the image of Umair’s perfect leader came to mind: the motivational speaker. Inspiring people to be all they can be, building their self-esteem, motivating them to overcome obstacles, to risk, to dream. All the qualities Umair attributes to “true leadership” are just what people pay their thousand bucks for three days and two nights at the motivational seminar. And I’m not knocking it.
But “leader” implies a person who achieves goals and objectives through the efforts of other people. Successful leaders achieve those goals and objectives. Inspirational leaders achieve those goals and objectives while also seeing to Umair’s other desires, but make no mistake about it, leadership is judged on whether the goals and objectives were achieved, not on whether the team felt good about themselves while the team failed.
The other aspect of leadership missing here, the most important aspect, is the leader’s vision about what needs to be done. That is the key element on which people choose their leaders in the first place. Even the most successful and inspirational leader will not be chosen by people who disagree with what the leader aspires to do.
So of the three aspects of leadership — vision, competence, and inspiration — vision and competent success are the most important. Critically important. Inspiration is nice to have, but not critical.