Whenever I go for a seminar at least one session, invariably, is on leadership. But I always thought it is so simple that everyone tried, glorified and succeeded in creating a kind of scare of the word “Leadership”.
If a leader need to command respect One has to primarily look at his/her character, and should know the job well and so should about the task in hand and the nature of those with him. Needless to say, what they do for implementing or motivating or providing a direction is equally or more important too.
While the Leader himself has to always display professionalism, followers will always look at the leaders loyalty to organisation, his willingness to take responsibility, honesty, competence and commitment, integrity and courage etc.,
Whereas to me a leader should be good FOLLOWER before looking how many follow him, should be able to COMMUNICATE effectively in any SITUATION. Similarly a leader can’t be a leader till he himself assess his own strength & weakness and of course character in addition to knowledge and skills.
A leader – in addition to his/her being proficient – should possess some better understanding of human needs, emotions and their response even while under stress etc.,
Who will do the Goal setting, problem solving, planning and decision making? Leader.
Who will do effective communication, perfect coordination, overall supervision and final evaluation? Leader.
Raise the morale, coach the boys, train them and advise them as the organisation chief—— Leader…
A real leader influence the overall environment through very clear Goals, values and Concepts they establish.
I have seen quite a few ordinary people who later turned out to be leaders on their own right – the ones who always tried and challenged the established process, improved upon it and delivered faster which displayed the steel in him.
Somehow this self propelled leader believed that the above experience should be shared with others in his team and beyond in as simple language that it can be understood by everyone. This again shown me the traits of a real would be team-leader.
This man never imposed his leadership though he is one. Whenever he wanted a task from others he gave them the order with time frame. But the real leadership I saw when I always saw him asking the team “what do you need to fulfill my order/instruction” and he was always there to provide it and even methods and solutions if and when needed.
Even with a huge battalion to take the orders, he never hesitated to dirty his hands whenever the things got tough and shown them it can be done rather than bossing them what to do.
Lastly I never heard/saw a Leader sharing his painful experiences; but always saw him sharing all those glory with his teammates and followers.
This sets the leader apart from the team and not the long speeches…
Madhu K. Nair [16th June 2002]