“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, YOU ARE A LEADER” – John Quincy Adams
Leadership is social influence on the people that motivates them to put their efforts in achieving common goal. It is setting a vision for growth, empowering people and increasing their worth. Leadership is not a position or a title, it comes to those who choose to help their people and do things that help all those who are involved.
One could be a leader at work or in neighborhood, for the country or his family. What people can not see in themselves a real leader will make them believe that they have it. If you have been wondering whether you have what it takes to be a leader or not, read on our take on a true leader and his qualities.
Position Is Management
In company or businesses, people usually think they have become a leader when they start by getting a position in hierarchy by promotion. But they need to understand that they have become only a positional leader because of their title. This is only management and not leadership. At this level of gaining positional leadership people follow them because they have to. At this level the subordinates will be giving the least amount of energy and commitment.
Understand Your People
If you are at this place take care that to go up the ladder of leadership you need to start developing relationship with your subordinates. You will need to understand them well by listening to them and their concern. You will be required to closely observe them and learn about them. Only then you will be able to truly represent them and be genuinely liked by them. Lot many people are not likable by staff because they feel that just because they hold a higher designation or office, they are automatically superior to others.
You need to understand that all leaders are particularly good at developing relations and relations can be developed only when we give respect to others and gain their confidence in us. No relation is possible without a sense of trust. To develop trust believe in them, their capabilities and competence. Once you listen to them, their difficulties and their opinions you will be better placed to understand them. Learn from this and get close to your people and soon they will start feeling more committed to you.
Make Them Feel Secured
A very important requirement of leader is to make their people feel secured under his wings. People are able to contribute only when they have full sense of security. Leaders are those who stand with their team during adversity and more importantly face it first. Leaders need to protect their people and make them feel that they belong to common group. They need to be more like a tour guide who show you the way and tell what lies ahead rather than behaving like a travel agent who sends you to places where he himself might not have gone. Leaders don’t cross the finish line first, they take their team along.
Take Responsibility and Give Credit
If there are any any difficulties or challenges a true leader will stand first in line. People follow, as they see and not what they are told. Leaders need to lead by example. When people see the commitment you are having they give their all to the purpose. It is said that ‘an army of sheep led by a lion can defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.’ On having a great leader among them people become highly energetic and give maximum contribution. This is the level from which you start getting high production and results. You develop momentum. Problems solve at this level because momentum is a leader’s best friend. It allow you to break through all barriers which were earlier not possible.
The leaders get privilege in all things but they need to understand their responsibility that they are here to serve. Pass on the credit of achievements to your team. This will increase their morale like anything. True leader will be last to take credit because he understand that leadership comes from moral authority and not from position. Leader need to have support of his people and a deep conscience. Remember you are because of your people, so enjoy their respect and allow them to take credit.
Define Purpose And Vision Clearly
Another very important role of the leader is to clearly define the purpose. When the vision of the company, it’s values and the goals are clear to people and they themselves are involved in it, they feel they are the part of whole process. This sense of ownership will unleash their talent and creativity. Their resourcefulness will be much better utilized.
Develop Other Leaders
A primary task for a leader is to develop other leaders. There is nothing as bad as an unsecured leader who fears from developing other people thinking his importance will decrease. A true leader is one who recruit other people, train them well, equip them even better and then in true spirit of leadership pass on the mantle to them.
For most of the people leadership is only hierarchical position, a position of authority or simply a designation that they use for organizing other’s efforts. But for true leaders it is the chance and a choice to serve people, empowering them, maximizing their potentials, creating new landmarks and most importantly produce great results by developing great teams. Leadership is a lifelong journey of learning and experiencing, and for me the sole end purpose is to gain other’s RESPECT.
Related article: 3 Qualities of an Effective Manager