Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How to Identify Leader within You?

"Leaders don't create followers. They create more leaders." – Tom Peters

Anything about leadership inspires and excites all. Everybody wants to be a leader. But everybody cannot become a leader. What makes the leaders to stand out of the pack? Let us find out.

People mistake leadership is like standing in front of crowd and calling for action. In fact, it is not so what people imagine and think about leadership. Every one is a leader if she or he influences and inspires others by setting personal example. Mother and father at home are also leaders if they play their role properly in shaping and grooming their children.

Identify Leader Within You:

“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” - Rosalynn Carter

Do you have what it takes to be a successful leader? Are you willing to go extra mile. Do you live for yourself or for others? If you want to live for others by serving then leadership is the next best option. Do you like to share success with others or do you like to pass on the success to others? If you want to pass on the credit of success then again leadership is the right option for you. Can you handle conflicts effectively and efficiently? Can you manage human emotions and egos properly? Can you work hard and work smart? Can you motivate and inspire others in getting the work done? Can you work in teams effectively? Can you assess the strengths and weaknesses of your subordinates and can allocate the roles and responsibilities accordingly? If the answer to all the questions is yes then you have all ingredients to become a successful leader.

Leadership qualities:

Some of the qualities of leaders are: listening, communicating, team building, visioning, troubleshooting, negotiating, out of the box thinking, creating rather than copying, killer instinct etc.,

Leaders strongly believe in themselves. They focus more on the hard work unmindful of the results. But they are optimistic about the results. They also don’t mind who gets credit for their efforts and energies. They are passionate in leading whatever the task they undertake. For them, success is only a by product not an end result. This attitude helps them to persevere and pursue their goals and objectives with persistence. In the process of leading even if they fall and fail it will not disturb them as they are mentally prepared for all these eventualities. Of course, finally they attain success. What makes them different from the followers is the tenacity and the never say die approach in achieving their goals.

Leaders have clarity of mind. They know where they are going as they are visionaries. They set their eyes beyond the reach of the common man. They may not be able to explain everything in detail to their followers. But they are basically sure of where they are going. At times, followers may be confused with the attitude and aptitude of the leaders which looks very tricky. Leaders align their followers towards the cherished goals and objectives. Whenever leaders find that the followers are off the track, they put in their efforts to get their followers on the right track and on the fast track. It is in this context, they need to inspire and motivate their followers with their effective and efficient communication skills.

Success does not go in the heads of leaders. They are emotionally balanced and have emotional intelligence. They know that overconfidence is the worst enemy. They have self-control and check themselves constantly. Whenever they make mistakes they immediately realize and correct the same through remedial action. As leaders are continuous learners, they learn a lot from their failures. For leaders, failure is only a comma not a full stop.

Leaders are good listeners. They listen from all sources before taking a call. They are impartial and unbiased. They see multiple perspectives and dimensions to a specific problem. Only after weighing all the options, they take the right decision. They never ignore even minor things. When followers are engrossed with problems it is the leaders who look only at the solutions and come out with a viable and feasible solution based on their imagination and intuition.

Leadership is not a solo act. It is a process that requires interaction with others. It requires team building skills. For achieving the desired objectives, leaders have to analyze and assess the strengths and weaknesses of the members and then leverage their strengths for achieving objectives. It requires a degree of flexibility and also rigidity to form a powerful team. Mostly team building requires a lot of flexibility and in extreme cases rigidity is essential to get the team going with energy and enthusiasm.

Humility is the hallmark of leaders. They remain humble and simple however big they make. They know pretty well that success is not constant. Life is full of fluctuations with peaks and valleys. They remain cool and composed and maintain stoic silence at the time of defeat as well. Leaders know how to balance themselves well.

A leader is the one who stands by ethics. Leaders must be men of integrity and honesty. Or else they lose their credibility among their followers. Any gap between preaching and practice dents their image. Leaders need to demonstrate and stick to ethical values all the times. A person’s true character is demonstrated at the time of defeat. When everything goes well anyone can be ethical and dignified. The same has to be reflected even at the time of defeat. For instance, Abraham Lincoln demonstrated his ethics and integrity when he was defeated. People are the best judges. We cannot take people for granted. Leaders are so careful about their public image, they take every care and pain when they speak something in public. It is because of Abraham Lincoln’s ethical stand, people of America gave him an opportunity to become the President. Ultimately it helped America to evolve as a much more meaningful and progressive country as he tried wholeheartedly for the abolition of slavery.

Leadership Training:

“Leaders aren't born they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that's the price we'll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.” - Vince Lombardi

Self-analysis is the key to unlock your hidden potential. First of all, find out what is your leadership style. There are several online tests, which, if executed will reveal what category of leader you are. These will also reveal your strengths and weakness so that you can overcome your weaknesses through right kind of leadership training. There are several institutes that provide training through which leadership skills can be learnt. Lot of practice is essential. No one can become a leader just by reading books alone. Books will provide adequate inputs that will only provide as guidelines. The real leadership starts only when you practice. You cannot become a crack shot unless you lose some ammunition. Only by trail and error and by practical experience people can develop leadership qualities.

Leadership is more of a skill rather than a talent. Many people believe that leaders are born. But in fact, it is not so. Leaders are made through compulsive situations. It is only the test of fire that brings out the fine steel. A smooth sea never makes you as a skillful mariner. Lot of churning should take place to get the best out of individuals. It is possible only by continuous practice. If the road to leadership is so easy then everyone becomes a successful leader. It requires lot of struggles and sacrifices to gain acceptance as a successful leader. When we look at leaders like Abraham Lincoln, we come to know that how difficult the path to leadership was and how many trials and tribulations he underwent.


“People underestimate their capacity for change. There is never a right time to do a difficult thing. A leader's job is to help people have vision of their potential.” - John Porter

We are blessed with vast human potential. But very few people realize and utilize this potential. Success people are smart at realizing the same judiciously and appropriately thus reaching their goals. Leadership is more of a skill rather than a talent. If hidden talents are tapped and also the requisite skills are cultivated and inculcated anything and everything is possible in this world. Sky is the limit.

Top sum up, find out the qualities required to become a successful leader. Find out your innate qualities that you possess and also the skills that you cultivated. Compare and contrast the both. Look for commonalities and align the same for achieving success. Find out what you lack and develop the same by reading, training, practice and by experience. Then you will evolve yourself as a successful leader.

The End

1 comment:

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