I remember 14 years ago (2006), a friend of mine, Ashwath gifted me a book on “Leadership” and suggested me to read it and has also insisted that I read it in 21 days time. It was a small book so I started reading and could complete reading it twice in 21 days; however, it did not make much sense to me then! To be honest, I did not read it with a great interest or curiosity nor with any purpose. Of late, I started reading it again but this time the difference is “I have started reading it with a purpose. Now, it is making a lot of sense to me. I thank him again for this wonderful gift!.
Who is a Leader by definition?
Well, there are numerous definitions and you may have your own too. Perfect… I am sharing few definitions here, keeping the context of the blog.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
—Martin Luther King Jr
“A Leader is someone who leads by setting good examples, motivates, inspires to achieve a common goal and also help people unleash their potential.”
“As Ken Blanchard puts it Situational Leadership is an adaptive leadership style. It is flexible to the existing work environment and the needs of the Institution or the organization.”
“Situational Leadership is not based on a specific skill of the leader; instead, he or she modifies the style of managing a situation to suit the requirements.”
What makes a Good Leader?
Let us take a look at some of these qualities
- Staying positive even at the worst situations… Perhaps, hope for the best, prepare for the worst… Walt Disney maybe taken as an example
- Confidence (Like Elon Musk)
- Excellent communication skills (LSRW)
- Patience (Rahul Dravid, perhaps!)
- Honesty and Integrity and commitment
- Taking Responsibility and not blaming or complaining about others
- Inspire and motivate people around
- Have a sense of humour (Well, if you are wondering, it indeed is a necessity)
- Resilience – Embracing set backs or failures and quickly bounce back
- Focus and Decision Making skills
- Humility and Empathy
- EQ more than IQ… (Emotionally balanced)
I recently had asked a question would one event or a seminar is enough for you to become a Leader? Most said No and some of you have given wonderful examples too. Thank you for your responses and truly appreciate your understanding on this. Excellent!
Sometimes many wonder. Hey, I have many of the above qualities that I have developed over a period of years attending many trainings or seminars, workshops and observing and learning from others on a continuous basis. I never got an opportunity to display those and nobody calls me a Leader? What to do? Well, if you have acquired those qualities, it will certainly be visible in your daily actions. Isn’t it?
If you have possessed good leadership qualities, you can become a leader instantly. Everybody will have an opportunity at some point in time or at times, we need to create opportunities. That’s a skill again.
Here, I am sharing one case study. It is real that I have witnessed many years ago.
One Monday morning in a busy Corporate Office in Dubai where over 250 employees were working on 5th floor, suddenly around 11 am we heard the fire alarm ringing. There was a fire catching up in one of the floors and we could witness smoke outside. Immediately, most started getting panicky, some started walking down using stair cases to go down. Some rushing towards the lift and some are still sitting as if nothing has happened! Some are on the phone. Tell me, who can emerge as Leader here? Everyone had the opportunity to display their leadership skills.
But none bothered except one young sharp looking gentleman who was watching people are getting panicky. That was this young executive of HR Department. His Boss, Leader by designation was busy in appraisals. He immediately sent one of his colleagues to stand near the lift and directed everyone to use the stair case to go down. He started running around to ensure everyone moved out of the office to go down.
He kept his communication channel on the phone with the Fire Dept. and the management to update.
He left the floor after everyone has left and ensured everyone assembled out of the office building. To doubly ensure no one is stranded in the office, despite heavy smoke and in the dark, he went up again, checked thoroughly and after confirming no one is there, he went down.
Many would have done few actions as he displayed, but for the few like leaving the floor last ensuring everyone is left the floor and to go again to the 5th floor, climbing stairs in the dark keeping the safety of his employees risking himself is the real leadership display… This leadership is called “Situational Leadership” Emerged as a Leader instantly for the situation. This was very well appreciated by all and applauded too. And guess what! the lady Boss (leader by title) said “Today I realised who you are young Man..”!! Thank you! You are a True Leader!
Next blog will be on Servant Leadership….Til then… continue learning to become a better person, a better communicator… a better Leader...
Please leave your feedback here. Greatly appreciate that.