Can Anyone Become A Leader?

Posted: December 2, 2019

On 23 May, India recorded a major political fight in the history between “achche din” and “kya hua tera vada”. Well BJP won and “One Man” yet again proved his capability as a leader.  On the other hand, the losing party spread out a lavish feast for the media with all the blame games. Which clearly highlighted its lack of experience or skills to manage a team of highly efficient members. Everyone has qualities that leaders possess, but not everyone encounters the exact set of circumstances in life where those qualities can really shine and be recognized. Not only politics, but the same drawback can also be seen in other sectors as well; especially corporate.

“To be or not to be”. The opening phrase of Hamlet’s soliloquy in Shakespeare’s play is a prime example of leadership dialectics.

There are so many professionals who have contributed to take their companies from the business pages to the front page of newspapers. They have worked effortlessly to raise the profile of their organizations while being indicted, losing fortunes, and losing their way along the way. Clearly, not everyone is cut out to be a successful leader, they lose, learn from their mistakes and try again – till they achieve success.

In the corporate sector, we often meet people who are impatient and hubris, they just want to climb the ladder in a short span of time. Can they become a leader?

The simple answer is NO.

Nothing better can highlight a true leader’s role than the Kargil War.

“India’s victory in Operation Vijay was not achieved without major sacrifices. Three valiant officers and 32 brave soldiers of the Regiment of Artillery laid down their lives in the true spirit of Izzat-O-Iqbal. The young company commander and Artillery’s Forward Observation Officers led from the front by personal example and thus motivated their troops to perform outstanding acts of gallantry. “

The news excerpt says it all.

There is a limited amount of time you can spend honing the leadership skills that will help you succeed. If you aspire to not only lead but to fill effective leadership roles whose vision inspires employees and managers alike, here are few traits to look out for.

Accountability

When I enter the office, I make it a point to be respected as a boss, not liked. Accountability comes from creating clarity about what needs to be accomplished, by whom, and measuring progress against those goals. And when someone gets off track and misses their targets (and they will), giving fair but firm constructive feedback. If you’re not taking care of underperforming team members, your high performers will start making a beeline for another opportunity.

Never Say No Attitude

Everybody’s style is different, but one thing that is common is – eagerness to succeed in a challenging role. The desire to achieve something great and the ability to remain calm and never lose hope over a long period of time is a career maker. Status quo is not for leaders; the drive for excellence is.

Authenticity

“Pretentious is a dangerous drug”, I always warn my teammates an overdose might kill somebody’s career. A person’s leadership style may differ from their bosses, but good leadership is always about authenticity.

Strategic Mindfulness 

Well with the latest industry people overusing the keyword “Strategic Planning” in their resume. There is a lot of chatter about the same in corporate boardrooms. What exactly is it?

I’ve had a lot of leaders tell me that one of their secret weapons is simply taking few steps back and visualize the bigger picture. Strategic Planning is nothing but the ability to visualise and then lead your team for the execution.  While keeping a firm plan, you’ve got to be the person who can fan the flames of your team through both the easy and hard times.

Let It All Go

One of my team member’s performance was very poor, the guy was very shy and often refrained from speaking up. Instead of forcing him to speak or putting pressure on him to achieve targets. I simply introduced “Fun Fridays” on my team’s schedule wherein every member would participate in games. I distributed the responsibility to organize and conduct the game and along with me each member participated. Amidst the fun and interactions, the shy guy soon shredded his fear and started interacting with the team. Later the direct effect was clearly visible on his work when few months later he achieved the highest target.

The power of laughter is truly phenomenal, at times instead of sticking to the usual one-on-one meetings, one can let go of the strictness of a leader and welcome light-headedness with an open arm.

Image via Pixabay

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