LEADERSHIP…has become the most salable word in corporate world now a days!
There are many training shops (I mean so called institutes and schools), minting money in the name of developing the qualities of Leadership into ANY kind of executives…
Is it that easy to develop Leadership qualities???
My strong answer is- NO.
I have been meeting many so called leaders who are the products of such shops and at the same time, I have been lucky enough to have worked with the LEADERS who, indeed, have demonstrated the perfect definition of Leadership through their actions and decisions.
Half the time I see leaders pussy-foot around issues, seeking compromises which are unnecessary and saying things they do not mean. The real Leaders, on the contrary, give the hard truth about the person or situation.
A true Leader never bother to handpick the team he worked with. He can work with any team and deliver results guided by a personal conviction that there is no ‘A’ teams and ‘B’ teams – there are only different types of leaders who make the teams the way they are. If they go to any organisation, they will always deliver extraordinary results with ordinary people.
A true leader is a champion of diversity. Working with such Leaders, we learn to respect people, to prize them for what they CAN do, not for what they have already done!
True Leaders have no EGO- you may find them carrying their own bags, staying in ordinary hotels when travelling, always insist call them by their first name, reply to any email within 24 hours, pay the same level of attention whether the mail is from the junior most employee or a very rich client.
What I have learnt until now in my life, Leadership is all about personal character.
It is important for any leader to have highest sense of fairness in personal and professional dealings. He doesn’t need to cultivate followers; they simply go with him because they know he has character. Anyone who sits with this kind of person at the negotiating table will never leave with the feeling that he was talking into an unfair deal.
Sometimes, in times of crisis, managers psych themselves into believing that doomsday is near. They come and tell their leaders why a decision has to be taken based on only the recommendations they have made. ‘If we do not give discount of 20% today, we will lose the big deal‘, If we do not revise salaries now, we will not get anybody to join us’, ‘ If we do not agree to his terms, he will take us to the court’: so called leaders are often rushed into decision on hearing such statements.
A real Leader, on the contrary, must not take decisions under such fraught circumstances. Always insist on some more time so that you can take a considered view, stepping away from the moment of high emotion. No decision is without risk, but when you take the time to think things through, you take very few regrettable decisions.
My experience has taught me that the importance of data, when taking decisions cannot be under-emphasized. We can epitomize the rational and the deep intuition. We should use the power of intuition to look for opportunities, create alliances and, sometimes, to gauge an adversary’s moves. But, be careful, never use the intuition without the touchstone of data; and whenever smothered with data, never hesitate to question it with your intuition.
But, the most important lesson I have learnt from the great leaders in my life is that all battles should be based on principles. And in a battle based on principles, it is not the size of the adversary that matters. It is the size of principle. Time and again, I have seen these leaders coping with powerful opponents who have had the capability to inflict significant damage. In each instance, such leaders continued fighting on the strength of their principles. And in most cases, they prevailed!!