Leadership is a very important aspect of our culture and lives.
Whether we like it or not we all either have been or are under some sort of leadership. Maybe it is in our homes, in the entire country or even in our respective professional fields. In almost each aspect of our lives we have thought leaders that we look up to for guidance and direction.
That is why having good leaders is an important aspect of any good society, organisation or home. If you have an incapable leader everything will begin to fall apart.
Everybody has the capacity to be a leader and anybody can be a leader including you. If you chose to, you can pick up the torch of leadership at this very moment and become a capable leader.
Actually Simon Sinek, the author of best seller ‘Finding your why: A practical guide for you and your team’, likens leadership to parenting he said:
Everyone has the capacity to be a parent, but that doesn’t mean everyone wants to be a parent and that does not mean everyone should be a parent. Leadership is the same, everyone has the capacity to be a leader but that does not mean everyone wants to be a leader and that doesn’t mean everyone should be a leader.
Leadership is like any other skill and it can be learned through practice and consistent effort just like parenting. That is why being a good leader is not something that happens instantly or something that will happen automatically when you have underlings.
Let me dispel a common misconception that you may have:
Being promoted to a senior position doesn’t make one a leader.
All that does is turn you into a person in a position of leadership. If you haven’t already figured it out you should know that being a leader has nothing to do with rank or authority.
There are people sitting in the highest positions of big organisations who are not leaders, they have authority over us and we may do what they tell us to do because of it, but that does not make them leaders.
The vice versa is also true, there are people who have no rank or authority and yet are leaders who drive change and growth.
So regardless of what position you are in right now, even if it is the lowest in an organisation, you can be a very powerful leader.
What is leadership all about then?
Leadership has nothing to do with rank but it has everything to do with responsibility. It is about the responsibility to take care of the people around us and the people with whom we work with.
That is why the picking up the torch of leadership comes with massive responsibility. It is no longer just about you and your performance, it is all about the others around you.
The moment you decide you are going to be a leader will be the moment you will have to go through a transition. If we are in an organisation in which we may have been the best capable worker, the moment we are chosen to become a leader, we are no longer responsible for the job we used to do or how it is performed, our responsibility is now the people who are now responsible for that job.
Our responsibility as leaders becomes us creating an environment in which people can flourish by being themselves, an environment that helps them discover new ways of doing things and help them navigate in new uncharted waters, an environment that inspires them to perform at their highest level willingly. People respond to what environment there in.
The environment they work in highly affects the performance of people, leaders are responsible for how they shape the environment and most leaders forget that.
Get the environment right and you will get the right behaviour and the right performance that will elevate the overall results of a department.
That is why micro managers are considered as bad leaders because they focus so much on how the work is done and not on the person doing the work. Yes they do know how to do the job a person may be doing and they know how to do it well, but they just forget that that is no longer their responsibility and their new responsibility is the person.
If people are constantly micromanaged they will spend more time protecting themselves from you, than from doing their job right.
That reason is why anyone can be a leader, even if they don’t have the rank or authority that can impact the entire organisation they do have the power that can create an environment which can inspire, motivate and guide the people next to them to do better, even better than they ever dreamed of going themselves.
Just the way no parent ever wants their child to do badly but to do better than them; a true leader will always inspire others around him to do better and go further than they ever went in life. That is why they teach (by word and example), discipline and protect the people under their wing because if there underlings win they will win also.
You don’t need a title to be a leader.
If you want the people around you to change and excel, you have to behave differently for them to do so.
You have to start being the torch that lights inspiration in the right way.
And when the people around you are more than just engaged, when they are inspired as well, that is when we get to see the greatest change and breakthroughs in life. They too will inspire others around them and turn them into far more productive people and they will strive for greater heights.
What are your thoughts on this?
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