Published: 28th February 2017
What it takes to be on top of things
We often focus on the LEADER which is SUBJECTIVE, rather than LEADERSHIP, which is highly OBJECTIVE.
In the recent move by our Honourable Prime Minister who brought in the sudden move of demonetisation overnight, many started by questioning the decision and finally as frustration built up, some people even went on to question whether he considers himself as a leader or a dictator. Keeping the politics aside, I decided to pick this query for our conversation this week as I really felt that this is one concept many have gotten wrong.
We often focus on the LEADER which is SUBJECTIVE, rather than LEADERSHIP, which is highly OBJECTIVE. Hence, I would like to take this opportunity to create future LEADERS who are created with the strong foundation and principles of Leadership, rather than becoming Self-Proclaimed Leaders driven by personal agendas just for the heck of it!
What is leadership?
A Leader in simple terms is a person who leads, commands or has the ability to create followers. But when we look at the concept of leadership, we realise that it leads to a bigger picture. Leadership isn’t about individuals, it’s about outcomes. Even though, we have made the usage of the term leadership so common that we fail to, even for a second, think how large the subject of leadership itself is...research has also said that it is the least understood concept across all cultures and civilizations of the world.
Are there different types of leaderships then?
That’s a big YES! The reason being, we need to understand that different situations demand different styles of leadership. As surprising as it may sound, even DICTATORSHIP is a main style of leadership which comes under the category or AUTOCRATIC LEADERSHIP. Funny isn’t it? The next important style of leadership is DEMOCRATIC style in which the Leader takes into consideration everyone’s opinion and takes a decision. After which, we have the FREE REIN style where the decision making itself is allowed by anyone who is a subordinate to the leader. These main styles of leadership also help define the qualities that are required by a leader in order to be effective.
Now, coming to the crux of our discussion. What are the qualities necessary for a leader? I would like to express my own set of traits that I have seen work wonders after observing the best leaders who I have rated on their ability to influence people.
The first most important trait, which I feel is the foundation for any individual to become a leader is TAKING INITIATIVE or INITIATION SKILLS. This one trait makes normal individuals become leaders overnight and also the vice versa. Taking initiative is nothing but ACTING or TAKING ACTION on a challenge, concern or inconvenience which is affecting one or many. It might be as simple of taking an initiative to clean your neighbourhood park or spreading awareness to the whole country and inspiring everyone to keep their area parks clean. The impact that you create with your initiative directly shows your leadership qualities.
Just having a Vision isn’t enough, the ability to Influence people to believe in that vision is equally important. Hence, the next important quality for a leader is the ability to MOTIVATE and INSTILL BELIEF. This is one of the toughest challenges of a leader and very few have been able to do this with ethics and principles. In order to be able to achieve this, a leader had to be CONSISTENT in his approach, not get affected by failures or drawbacks and most importantly PRACTISE what IS PREACHED. If a leader doesn’t believe in their own principles, how will it be able to Influence others to do the same right? Finally, the ONE QUALITY that I have personally believed in and seen work wonders is the INTENT.
My final word
Becoming a TRUE LEADER isn’t easy. It takes consistent effort and a clear and balanced mind. A mind that has the least bit of negativity and jealousy. As I personally believe the intention of every TRUE LEADER should be to UNCONDITIONALLY create more LEADERS rather than command more followers... I’m doing my best, will you?
Adarsh Benakappa Basavaraj,