Leadership is a very subjective concept. Ask a hundred people about what leadership is, and you’ll receive a hundred different answers. Many define leadership as possessing a business acumen, like setting goals for the organization and achieving them. A lot of people also think of leadership as having human qualities like humility and empathy. There can be no wrong answers. Each leader differs in their style of leading and influencing, which also greatly determines the culture and the overall direction of the company.
In all of my years of being a leader myself, there a few dos and don’ts of being a leader that I’ve learnt from experience. For me, a leader is someone who can see how things can move forward and who rallies people to strive towards a better vision. Having said that I also believe that leaders can work toward making their vision a reality while putting his/ her people first. Just being able to motivate people isn’t enough — leaders need to be empathetic and connect with people to be successful. Here are some leadership mantras I swear by to lead to success:
- Motivation: A leader must know how to motivate better than anyone else; it is one of the primary functions of a people’s manager. A leader must channel his/her employee’s creative energy and professional potential in order to achieve organizational objectives. I make it a point to talk to my team, ask them questions, let them talk, listen, and understand what they need. Leading is not giving orders, it is about listening and creating a seamless environment for your employees.
- Taking risks: A leader is responsible for taking risks that no one will be willing to take to achieve his/ her vision. In the process, one may end up making mistakes, but a leader must take this in his/ her stride and move forward, thus making it as a learning experience.
- Learning agility: Learning agility is the ability to know what to do when you don’t know what to do. A leader must be able to learn new skills and concepts and should not be dated. Being a learner is an important part of being able to lead effectively and without any hindrance.
- Communication: A leader must also be able to communicate effortlessly. One needs to be able to communicate well on various levels, from conveying information to educating your employees. The quality and effectiveness of communication directly affect the success of your organization.
- Be yourself: The foremost quality of a leader is to be unique and not follow the footsteps of another. There is no set formula for being a leader. One must have faith in their skills and the ability to be a good leader.