“I am the best leader in the world….better than the rest!” The world is filled with leaders. Or it seems. Leaders, who admit to themselves and the whole world that they are born this way. That they are the leader everyone aspires to be.
I know why you are thinking you can’t be like them. That you can’t lead… and it is because:
• You don’t have a leader designation
• You don’t have people reporting to you
• You don’t have experience in managing people
I used to believe I was not even close to becoming a leader because of the above listed points. If you think this way, then you are fooling yourself.
Being modest, I refused to believe people when they used to say that I am a good example for others for sincerity, honesty, punctuality, and dedication.
But, I have found over a period of time that people at work follow my examples in the above areas.
Did I ask them to do that? All I ever did in my job was exerted my best efforts and generated results.
People often ask me what it takes to be on the top; what is the recipe of successful leadership?
Even if people don’t want to admit it, not everyone can or rather should become a leader.
Simply desiring to be a leader doesn’t mean a person has it all to be one.
I feel amused to see a number of people in leadership positions without knowing the basics of what constitutes a leader. Having a title, a revolving chair, and a glass room can definitely make you a manager, but not a leader.
To be a leader, there is no instant recipe. The following tactics are a MUST to be the best of the leaders:
1. Get Results: At the end of the day, it’s all about results and achieving targets. A leader begins with the end in mind. They have a long-term vision, a job to be completed, an expectation to be met.
Simply put: No results = No leadership.
2. Choose the right path: What will your son do (when he grows up) if he sees you driving in a ‘no entry’ zone, or when you drive through a red light? Getting results doesn’t mean using the ‘incorrect’ means to do so. You should be clear and simple every time.
This doesn’t mean the abuse of power. With manipulation, you will win a deal, but you will lose the trust. Ethics should never be compromised.
3. Show Concern: Apathy doesn’t match with leadership. If you don’t care about your team, you can’t be a leader. Remember, you are here to set examples. You simply cannot be a leader if you don’t care about the people who are following you.
4. Guidance, not instruction: There is a thin line between guidance and instruction. Leaders don’t instruct people to do a job; they guide you on how to do a certain task. Don’t put a wall around people; make them feel mentally free to make a choice for doing a task or reaching a goal. Guide them so that they can reach their destination, generate solutions and create an environment where people can speak freely about solving problems.
5. Letting go of the Status Quo: Leadership and status quo don’t go hand in hand. Change Management is an essential part of the process. As a Leader, you should assess the need for a change when it’s needed, and justify the results in accordance with the organizations vision.
6. Selfless interest over self interest: You can’t be a leader if you are selfish. If you value your chair more than the interest of the organization and an individual’s growth, you aren’t a leader. Power and strength in your role and position comes with leadership.
7. Actions, not words: Stand by what you say and vice versa. Leadership is all about actions. If you say and cannot fulfil, you are lying to yourself.
8. Cherish your talent: A leader has a magnetic pull that attracts other people towards them. Always remember, it’s the manager and not the firm that makes an employee decide to stay or quit a job. If you are bad in employee retention, you aren’t a leader.
9. Encouragement: Encouragement is the juice of bringing the best out from people. If you are quick to identify what and how things went wrong, make sure you are the first to encourage when your team do well. I was absolutely amazed by the response from my team when I praised them in meetings.
10. Positivity: Your tone, voice, and words should always exhibit positivity. “I am sure you won’t win this project” will surely make him lose it. Make sure you are putting your best foot forward. Always remember, it takes two to tango.
11. It is all about recognition: If you are a true leader, you make sure that the spotlight is on others. Remember to use the word ‘We’ instead of ‘I’, for both success and failures.