Are You A Leader? Consider this

March 07, 2018 0 Comments

By Dr. Paul L. Gerhardt, PhD
You may not realize you are a leader or have what it takes to be an effective leader. It really depends upon what you consider a leader. The topic of leadership is broad. I consider leaders to be people who make a positive difference have a vision of a better future, and make things happen. Of course, you need to have followers technically to be a leader. The people mentioned here today are inspirations to many and have an amazing following.  They are role models, heroes, idols, to billions of people all over the world. Without further ado, here is introducing our world’s most influential and successful leaders of our age.
Elon Musk: He grew up as a small, scrawny boy in South Africa, always thoughtful and different from other children his age. At school he was constantly bullied, to the point where a group of thugs threw him down a flight of stairs and then beat him up. On getting older, Elon Reeve Musk ventured to America against his family’s wishes to seek out his own fortune.
There, he invented, which is today known as PayPal. Musk went on to become the founder of SpaceX, the world’s first commercial rocket company which successfully managed to send one of its creations to the International Space Station. If that wasn’t enough Musk also founded Tesla – probably the most renowned company to create and sell electric cars in our current age. Elon Musk is a prime example of one of the most successful leaders of technology in our current age – he began as a boy immersed in computers and ended at the forefront of a new age of technology.
Mr. Musk reminds me that one can do anything if they have a clear vision and are willing to work hard to make things happen. If someone from Elon Musk’s background can do what he did at such a young age, what is holding others back?
Gordon Ramsay: It’s a big leap from Elon Musk to Gordon Ramsay, so yes, you can laugh. Since I would like this article to be as diverse as possible and include leaders from a wide range of fields, Gordon Ramsay, definitely fits the bill as the worlds pioneering leader of chefs right now. He is NOT my favorite person on television. Nor do I think he treats people particularly well. His STYLE of leadership is NOT one that I recommend. However, it is undeniable that he is respected by many and has created his own success with determination and clear vision.
Gordon Ramsay began his career in the 80’s as an athlete. His love for soccer led him to join the pro team Glasgow Rangers at the early age of 15.Unfortunately due to an untimely knee injury Ramsay was forced to stop his career prematurely and returned back to school. Ramsay then pursued a degree in hotel management and after completing his studies he apprenticed under famous chef Marco Pierre White. From then it was just a journey up – today Gordon Ramsay is a worldwide renowned chef and a TV sensation, hosting shows like Hell’s Kitchen and Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. He is on this list to show you that one can be a leader in any industry. One must have followers in order to be a leader, and it amazes me how Chef Gordon Ramsay has gotten so popular for what he does. You do not have to love a person in order to respect them right?
J.K. Rowling: Does she need any introduction actually? Unless a person has been living under a rock for the past 20 years or so, there is no chance that they haven’t heard of the worldwide hit Harry potter franchise. J.K. Rowling wrote seven books in the series which were made into eight movies. She has also written numerous companion books such as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and also written a play called Harry Potter and The Cursed Child.
The reason behind including Rowling in this list is because there is probably no other author alive today with such a difficult background has her, and then had their life changed overnight by their work. After facing many rejections, J.K. Rowling finally managed to sell her first copy of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone for about $4000. She is an inspiration to all struggling writers out there and has led the way for many a soul lost on the road to literary success.
I am not a fan of the Harry Potter series in the least. I like to think of myself as a writer and I admire amazing people like J.K. Rowling who can build an empire with her imagination and hard work. Being a creative person can be a way to develop a huge following. One needs followers to be a leader and you cannot deny that J.K. Rowling has more followers than most leaders of any other type today. Right?
For a person to become a successful leader, they need to believe in their ideals to the point where others are also inspired and motivated to believe them. The three people mentioned in today’s post have done just that and proven themselves in many aspects of their lives; began with them nothing and overcome all the challenges in their path to achieve worldwide success. Elon Musk, Gordon Ramsay and J.K. Rowling are inspirations to thousands of people all over the world today. You too can be a leader if you look closely at what great leaders do. The magic formula really is not a mystery at all. Just pick a leader you admire, then emulate their habits and apparent beliefs. Believe in yourself and realize that the only person holding you back is probably you.
Dr. Paul Gerhardt is a tenured professor of management, diversity and leadership lecturer/trainer and the author of several publications available on, including Diversity at Work and the new Leadership Handbook. You can get your FREE COPY of the Leadership Handbook by clicking this link:


Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.