The great leader – are you one?

Our life is always in connection to one who leads. Our parents lead the family ahead, giving love, care, protection, education and all that the children want. As children grow, they move to a more structured learning environment in a classroom, in an organized educational institution called a “school” and forward. Such places of education also have various leaders such as teacher, class teacher, Principal, Prefect, Sports Captain, etc. A human child grows under the leadership of leaders in various roles who sometimes do not realise the impact they have on the young child either. Religious leaders, fashion icons, pop stars and many other celebrities also have a strong influence of forming the decisions of children, young adults, and youth so much that they become role models or inadvertently “leaders of thought” to them. Same could also be said for the animal kingdom where the leader of the pack sets an example of “leadership and governance.”

In this backdrop, IF you are also to be considered a “leader”, what image do you want to project? Would you like to be remembered for your intelligence, your good nature, the team spirit, your rigid rules or what?
Robert Greenleaf said “Good leaders must first become good servants”. The reality of this statement is that you need to have also been lead where you will try to lead with the same qualities you admired and abstain from all the “controlling strokes” which you despised yourself. Also, if you have been a servant, you would always know how it was to have a strong, unbiased leader with compassion. However, if you were led by a more evil leader, it is said to lead you to become one yourself. The human mind works in such a way that, you want to give the same pain you received when you were a servant.

On the other hand, a more positive attitude towards leadership is expressed by Jon Taffer, “The greatest gift of leadership is a boss who wants you to be successful”. Such a leader, as opposed to one who more or less has an autocratic style, will lead with love and compassion, humanity and self worth and integrity and righteousness.
Gurus of organizational behaviour and Human Capital has given various definitions for leadership. There also exist the age old argument of if leaders are born or if leaders are made/groomed. The human traits of leadership are also greatly researched on.

But, the question is “are you the leader who you want to be?”
Do you even think that you are a good leader?

Being a leader is no easy task and calls for great commitment and sometimes selflessness. It may even require you to empower rather than to lead. Your brand is what others speak about you when you are not in the room. Your attitude is your price tag. What happens to you is not a matter how you react to it matters.Leadership is not about management. Its about building a team so inspired by the work they do that they don’t need to be managed. Empathetic leadership will be key to navigating the challenges we face, from an ongoing pandemic to economic uncertainty and a reckoning of available limited opportunities.

The quote “Don’t pick a job. Pick a boss” rings in my mind as I pen these words. Your first boss is the biggest factor in your career success. A boss who doesn’t trust you won’t give you opportunities to grow, and if you do not grow, you will never become a leader yourself. A boss , the leader at your work place has the power to make or break you. Same way, when you become that leader, what will be your attitude?

“Compassion is an essential business value and is emerging as the top leadership characteristic of our time” – Ellyn Shook, winner of HR Executive of the Year Award ( Human Resource Executive, USA)
A soft style of leadership will never become “old fashioned”. Jacinda Arden too faced criticism for her style of leadership but her faith in her style has taken her to great heights. She once said, “One of the criticisms I’ve faces over the years is that I’m not aggressive enough or assertive enough”. But the criticism never changed her – a true leader in her own right.

Employees do not need a perfect manager or supervisor. They need a strong leader who is going to make them “want” to come to work. So, as you strive to be the “great leader” remember circumstances change, people change, attitudes change and the human also evolves. The leadership style which was successful in a war zone for military may not apply in a healthcare atmosphere. The tactics may be similar but how it would be embraced will be induced by the environment.

Are you a great leader?
Do you think you are a great leader?

You will only know the true impact your leadership had on society by observing the behaviour of the young leaders you groomed. The positive outlook about life, the continuous success and the bonds in the leaders you gave birth to would be a reflection of the traits you cherished and held dear to you.

Decide now or it maybe too late. Do not be the fountain which creates a vicious circle of demoralization and cruelty.