One of the things I learnt very early in life was that you don’t need to have a position or a title to be a Leader. This was followed by another learning that Leadership is not limited to a single person appointed as the head of the organisation, Government or local civic bodies. We need Leaders at every level of the organisation and society. Reading Noel Tichy’s ‘The Leadership Engine’ further strengthened this view and I realised that many a woes that we suffer in this world today is due to lack of effective leadership at the different levels in the Society, Government and organisations. Although the levels of Leadership have been defined both in society, Government and organisations, very often these levels are reduced to a mere hierarchy and used for sending down messages of adherence rather than influencing for action.
Imagine for a minute, living in a world filled with true leaders, who have high standards of integrity, walk the talk and are there to serve and not to be served . . . Given the current realities of scandals dogging our politicians and corporate heads world over, it may be difficult to picture such a world. Nevertheless all hope is not lost; we can paint our dream into reality if each one of us unleashes the Leader in us.
We may not be born Leaders, but in life all of us are called on to play leadership roles at home, in the neighbourhood and at times in the midst of a situation on the road or even at work. I believe because of this need, we are all wired with leadership potential and it is a question of releasing that potential and developing oneself as a Leader.
Unleashing the Leader in you starts with your values, beliefs and attitude. To build lasting Leadership, we have to embrace integrity; there is no compromise on speaking nothing but the truth! With it also comes the practice of ‘doing’ the truth which drives away the termites ( Unfair Practices, Vengeance, Illegal activities, hidden agendas, favouritism etc.) that bore into the noble calling of Leadership . One excuse many leaders use to justify their dilution of value system is “But everybody is doing it.” A leader has to be different, if they follow what the world at large is doing, they cannot be leaders.
If you believe Leadership is about serving, supporting, helping, handholding to get something done, you have the basics of Leadership right. This along with the conviction that everyone has potential and it is a matter of releasing that potential to meet goals will put you firmly on the road to leadership. Coming to attitudes if you enjoy a positive mindset, and are enthusiastic, collaborative and goal focussed, you are the real leader candidate.
Yes, you will need formal leadership learning and equipping to grow into your full potential of a leader, but don’t wait for that, just practice your values, beliefs and attitude now and you will have followers!