Leadership in today’s world is a much discussed quality of an individual which is given a lot of weightage when we talk about being successful. But to truly imbibe this quality of leadership,one must be aware of its true meaning and method.
* Leadership is a continuous process of influential behaviour. For this, it is not necessary to have a prime position but it is important to take ownership and lead by example.
* Leadership gives us authority but along with it comes responsibility. This responsibility does not remain limited to achieving goals or timelines but includes the responsibility of growth of each individual whom we are leading.
* There is always a difference between mere management and leadership. Management ensures development of the system but leadership ensures innovative ways to progress for the benefit of all- the system as well as those in the system. In administration, we do need good management, but it is incomplete without an efficient leadership.
Even the concept of leadership has evolved over a period of time to ‘Ethical Leadership’. It is experienced that where the heart conceives, the head follows. When the leader touches the heart of the people, it draws their 100% effort and loyalty which mobilizes the positive energy in the system. And through this positive energy that binds us, we can together overcome or face even the biggest challenges. When it comes to trigger this positive energy in the system, it is through our pure and benevolent intentions that can bring about behavioural change in the people we lead.
A leader walks along with everyone showing them the path and motivating them to move forward instead of simply instructing from a faraway distance. A leader says ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ or ‘you’, and this is what differentiates a true leader from a mere boss. One of the very famous authors, John C Maxwell says ‘A leader is the one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.’
Leadership quality is an important tool to raise but the strength of the tool lies in the ethics of the leader.Let us discuss more on some basic ethical components that result in better leadership and sustainable success:
# Self Introspection:
A progressing and motivated leader sets out an example for his entire team. He must be aware fully of his ‘Success DNA’, which arehis strengths or limitations and on the basis of this wisdom, he stands out in the crowd based on his skills which are nothing but strengths used to their best. If one does not know his real strengths or limitations, how can I use those strengths for achieving an edge our situations or help others realise their strengths?Also, a leader has to be aware of his limitations which can result in any obstacle on his way to success or sustaining it.Only when I know my limitations, can I be able to overcome them and motivate others to overcome theirs. If a leader tends to impose or project his strengths, hiding the limitations, his entire team would end up doing the same. As a result, although the team would seem to be very strengthened and capable, they may face challenges when it comes to achieving success, because no effort has been made to analyse and improvise the limitations. So a continuous self-introspection is a must for a good leader.Self-introspection leads to harmonious relations with the self and only then can one establish harmonious relations with others, which is a very important ingredient to have a good and effective team.
# Available to all, compassionate and accommodating:
A person connected to the self is compassionate. A good leader has the art to strike a balance between being focussed and goal oriented, but at the same time being compassionate and emotionally sensitive to other’s feelings. He values the greatest resource – human resource and is ready to accommodate everyone and help them develop under his leadership. He ensures no one is left behind in the process of chasing success. And so members of his team feel more comfortable and connected to him and to one another. This leads to proper and healthy interaction and sharing which arouses a feeling of oneness in the team and makes the working atmosphere very light and happy. Only in such a light and positive atmosphere can an individual deliver his maximum. A happy mind can be focussed and goal oriented but an unhappy or tensed mind cannot be productive.So maintaining a light and positive atmosphere by his positive conduct is another responsibility of a leader.
# Faith, Respect & Love:
A leader keeps faith in himself and his team. Gives love and respect to each individual and their ideas. He recognizes the specialty of people around and creates opportunities for them to leverage it.Like a plant needs fertile foundation, sunlight and water for sustenance; trust acts as the fertile foundation, respect is the sunlight in which the specialties of others are seen and love is the water that runs across length and breadth of a relationship.Like a small seed, if given proper nutrition, water and sunlight, gives rise to a mighty tree with beautiful flowers, relishing fruits and relaxing shade, a true leader nurtures his team with trust, love and respect. Mother Teresa was firm on this belief that “You are going to change your people but do you know them and do you love them?”In return, along with achieving the desired fruits of results and targets, he gains the flowers and shade of faith, respect and love from his fellow team-mates. This binds the team even more, making them unshakable. It is said that trust is not easy to obtain. It needs to be earned. But a true leader is the one who through his pure intentions and continuous care does not find it difficult to earn trust.
# Responsible for the progress of the team:
A true leader is always the one who is genuine, responsible for the team, ready to face challenges and leads by example and this is why he need not ask for everyone’s support, it is obtained automatically. With such a support, one gains confidence and courage which directs him towards innovation to explore new horizons. Such a leader is always ready to take new initiatives for the right cause. He is ready to walk, first in the line and so ready to face the challenges ought to come on any new path. He does not simply guides but leads. He takes charge and feels responsible. Because of the pure intentions and real support he getssuccess easily. After facing and overcoming challenges, he and his team eventually come out being more strong and capable than before and gear up for further new initiatives. This becomes a chain. Gradually each individual of that team starts gaining leadership qualities like courage, creativity and overcomingdifficulties and eventually become capable to be called a leader. This is why it is said that ‘A True Leader Creates Leaders, Not Followers’.
# Other qualities that are required are determination, power to catch signals from the environment, sense of discretion, power to make accurate desicions, controlling power, power to face, broad mindedness (open to new ideas & ready to explore), discipline, focus, good intentions, better communication skills, detached involvement, self motivation, service motive, intuitive, learner, maintains integrity and many more.
Apart from this, a leader should also refrain from assumptions, worry, anger, fear, comparison, criticism, complaints, confusion, impatience, abuse of authority, blaming others for failures.
Today’s society would have been very different if everyone made efforts to Lead from the heart and generate more leaders in the real sense. Leadership today seems to lose its charm because of the biggest barrier of Ego and selfishness. The ‘I’ factor has influenced everyone’s mind so much that people tend to see their own causes bigger than the common cause. Ego and selfishness have percolated in every field and every mind. It has hampered relations, communication and oneness in the society. The huge potential and energy of everyone dies down under unhealthy competition and comparison prevalent today. We attend various trainings and sessions on team building and positive attitude, lot of good information and motivating talks, but remain very far from achieving them in practical life. Everyone knows what is to be followed and what not, but because being unable to do what should be done, they keep justifying why the righteous cannot be followed in today’s world. We hear people complaining that qualities like compassion, genuineness and selflessness have become redundant in today’s world. Let us pause and check, who is responsible for this ethically weak society of today? It is certainly we and our actions. The picture of today’s society is nothing but a reflection of our actions which in turn are highly influenced by the external world. Because of this viscous circle the situation is continuing to degrade. In order to break this viscous circle we need to practice the qualities of a true leader, few of which are listed and discussed above. There is a need today,for us to awaken and take the lead for change.For this, we should be free from any mental clutter, be aware of and well connected to our own self.
Cumulative awakening at a personal level leading to self-transformation can bring world-transformation. So before applying them for the outside world, we need to apply them on ourselves. Analysing the qualities one by one, let us check, do we use them on ourselves today. Before we try to be compassionate to others, are we really compassionate to ourselves to help ourselves come out of the sufferings we have. Do we constantly motivate ourselves in life? Before we can trust anyone else, do we have faith in ourselves? Do we really love the way we are? Do we accept our qualities and shortcomings? Are we ready to do something new in life or feel hesitant to break the monotony? It is onto the readers to reflect…
What is really needed to answer all the above questions in a ‘Yes’? We need to know the source of these qualities. From where can I increase compassion, motivation, love, faith, etc. The answer lies within us. Deep inside we already have these treasures. We are not merely creatures of bones and flesh. We are the energy, the consciousness, called the Soul- that drives this entire body. The qualities discussed above are our original nature.
Everywhere if we see today, we find people using anger, hatred, ego, comparison, greed etc. in every field of life. Some try to eradicate them without knowing the way to do so. The simplest way to remove them is to stop using them and instead start using our original qualities. But because we have lost the way to ourselves, we scarcely make a journey inward and this is why we are unable to find them. We search for peace, love, happiness and power outside. We expect these from others whether be at home or workplace. But the fact is that first we need to explore, practice and give these qualities to others. To give is to first generate, secondly experience them and finally get them in return. Thus giving gives us thrice the benefit.If each one of us today starts giving peace, love, power, compassion to others how beautiful this world would become!
The best way to start using these original qualities is by re-strengthening our mind and intellect which are our faculties, responsible for creating thoughts and bringing them to action.The art of strengthening our mind and intellect is called Rajyoga Meditation. Rajyoga Meditation is nothing but rejuvenating the connection with ourselves and the Supreme Energy who is the ocean of all the virtues. Like a mobile gets charged when connected to the electricity source, similarly the Soul gets charged with the virtues when its consciousness is connected to the Supreme Consciousness- the source of all virtues. It is not merely a method to be practiced while sitting silently in a room, but on the contrary it is the easy remembrance of the Supreme Father of all souls, which can be practiced daily along with doing the day-to-day tasks. It is more a way of life than merely a method to be followed. Meditation transforms the way of thinking, interacting and doing work. Or in simpler words, we become the leader of our mind and intellect.