I believe that as a topic, leadership has been written and spoken about several times. Most emerging leaders attend coaching programs to enhance their leadership skills, cause let us be honest, being a leader is not an easy job. It is like juggling multiple balls at a time and having a few more thrown at you, and you are expected to make use of those almost instantaneously and put up a good show. You get what I mean? As leaders, we are continually working towards empowering our teams, managing different business functions, staying up-to-date with the latest technological trends and happenings in the market. All this, while remaining humble and empathetic to the needs of both our teams and clients.
Now coming to what this article talks about and why should you read it? Most articles on leadership talk about integrity, effective communication and influence. While these are excellent qualities, I would like to share the factors that I believe have helped me stand out as a leader.
What is it that turns a vision into a reality? It’s passion. Passion promotes productivity and encourages employee commitment to your vision. Passion is born out of something that is profoundly meaningful to you. And I believe passion is contagious. It is the seed that manifests into reality. So, if you would like to have a workforce that is passionate and self-motivated, then you need to first start with yourself.
When we are crystal clear on the outcome, the steps begin to lay out in front of us. But it’s not just about what you see as you visualize the end result, it is also what you feel. When we make decisions about the future, we tend to simulate the end result. We subconsciously create a picture of the desired end state. But that end goal is not what compels us. It is how we feel in that desired end state is what makes the difference. Our visualization always carries an emotional viewpoint. The future does not drive us, we are driven by how we feel about the future.
Truthfulness is the factor that has the power to make or break a leader’s impact on whether or not the company’s core objective will manifest. As a leader, you are trusted when people believe in your ability, consistency, integrity, and commitment to deliver. While passion attracts the right workforce and clients, truthfulness retains them and keeps them buzzing with the same energy.
As leaders, most of us are taught to be selfless. We are taught to give complete credit to our teams, partners and everyone else that has affected our success and keep none for ourselves. While yes, I do believe that blowing your own trumpet is not the best quality, I think we need to create an equilibrium when it comes to giving credit. While it is essential to reward and appreciate others, it is important to be judicial and strike a balance and appreciate when the achievements are well-deserved.
As leaders, one of the biggest challenges we face is giving feedback in the right way. Let’s accept it, not everything is great and there are times when this bitter medicine needs to be given. I think the key here is to be honest yet compassionate. Being respectful while providing negative feedback is essential. However, being compassionate can be truly difficult. This is because emotions like anger, resentment, disappointment- actually exist. Being compassionate is a journey and only comes with genuine efforts such as reading the right books, meditation, coaching or even spiritual scriptures.
Leadership requires time, effort, diligence, and character. It is something you can’t fake. It is like a forest- it takes a long time to grow and can be burnt down by a careless touch. But I think, if we focus on the aspects mentioned above, we will emerge stronger as leaders and will be able to drive in the direction of transformation with utmost conviction.