Leaders as Role Models
For far too long we have been a nation that has been subjugated and dominated. We have learned over the centuries to be subservient and docile. This also fell in line with our nature and our ethos, and so we found it convenient to remain that way. We were happy with ourselves for being kind and courteous… we needed to treat our visitors as Gods… even if those visitors were there to plunder and then rule us. Somehow… over time we have become too timid.
The time has come to change. Leaders have to stand up… and STAND OUT. Even politically … we see that the leaders who are able to dominate and be controlling and commanding get people to follow quite easily. So… am I advocating that we become hostile and dominating? No! Not at all… but somewhere between the extremes lies a place where we need to really be. Somewhere… we have to choose what kind of Role Model we really want to be.
HOW do we build Leadership Qualities?
1. Start believing in ourselves – and in our capabilities.
We need to accept compliments… and slowly but surely we need to learn how to speak about our achievements. Unless we toot our own horns… how will people be aware of us? An old business tenet says that Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. Only you know what you are doing.
2. Stand for Something … don’t fall for anything.
Too often we tend not to argue or oppose an opinion. It seems to be part of our culture to accept other people’s opinions. So at a meeting… people keep their views hidden, and after coming out they will chit-chat about why the ideas discussed are nor workable. This is really sad. The place to voice your dissent is AT the meeting… not AFTER it.
3. Share Views – they could be most valuable.
Very often the person with the most confidence… or with the most aggression… pushes their way through…. and very often the best ideas do not even come onto the table. This is where we lose a lot at meetings… and in board rooms. As leaders… we should be aware that there are others in the room… and silence… is not consent… but it is a sign that people do not have the confidence to say something because they are not sure whether the idea will be accepted, respected or even listened to. When we do not speak up, we actually damage not just our own self esteem, but we lose an opportunity to be heard, and recognized. So if you are a boss… ensure that you get everyone’s views on board. If you have a boss who wants only his/her view heard, figure out a way of stating your point, even at the risk of getting it shot down. You are, after all being paid not only for your time, but for using your intelligence too. This also shows others that you are willing to speak and share… but you are not willing to be gagged. This will hold you in good stead as you build your leader profile.
4. Ask Better Questions and LEARN MORE – or remain with your own ideas.
This is very much an Indian trait… we do not ask questions… or for clarifications, because, somewhere deep inside we have associated asking questions with not knowing. But where is it against the law to ask for clarity??? Or to ask for guidance? I feel it is better to ask a question and appear not so smart for a moment… rather than not ask the question and be ignorant for a lifetime. Ask and Learn. That is the best way to improve ourselves and grow in stature. If you are a leader, ask people to explain what they understood and you will know how much they really know. If you are a team member, ensure that you explain what you understood, so that you can be absolutely sure that you have got the right idea.
Finally… lets all understand that if we – irrespective of what level of management or leadership we occupy… are not able to see ourselves as LEADERS… it will be difficult for others to see ourselves as leaders. The time has tome for each of us to stand up and be counted.
The Leader is within each of us…
all we need to do is to start to believe it… and soon we will have enough courage for the Inner Leader to emerge and be recognized.
More power to you and your tribe.