I'm sure you would have read a zillion blog posts on how to become a successful leader. Many of you would agree with me that these so called 'How To's' bore us to death with each of the authors listing out qualitites according to their wish & will. While a few of these may work for some but not everyobe.
A simple google search for 'Leadership Qualitites' pops out 5,56,00,000 results. Add to that a thousand other books which claims to be true stories of leaders around the world writtent by self proclaimed best Selling Authors (sometimes i wonder who isn't one)
With all the hype around the web & corporate inc about what makes a true leader, i have collated a few vital pointers that hold's good for just about everyone who wishes to be an effective leader.
This bring us to the question Are leaders born or made? As cliche as it may sound leaders are sure made. If you are aware abot the Ice berg model, then you bet i'm right.
The iceberg model for competencies takes the help of an iceberg to explain the concept of competency. An iceberg which has just one-ninth of its volume above water and the rest remains beneath the surface in the sea. Similarly, a competency has some components which are visible like knowledge and skills but other behavioural components like attitude, traits, thinking styles, self-image, organizational fit etc are hidden or beneath the surface.
The iceberg represents your leadership. The 10% above the water is your skill. The 90% below the water is your character. It's what's below the surface that sinks the ship.
So, through this example we are diving deep down and not just scratching the surface and assuming things. Incidentally, we can change & customize the traits, attitude and thinking styles which are hidden the way we want to. It takes hell lots of time, patience and experience but we sure can tame it the way we want to.
Let's start with the fundamental traits that we need to embrace. Not just embrace but practise it religiously day in & out.
Communication is the real work of leadership. It’s a fundamental element of how leaders accomplish their goals each and every day. You simply can’t become a great leader until you are a great communicator. Great communicators inspire people. They create a connection with their followers that is real, emotional, and personal, regardless of any physical distance between them.
Being able to effectively explain the circumstance and justify the decision taken not only makes team members feel more comfortable with the decision, but also view their leader as being more credible.
Great leaders are humble. They don’t allow their position of authority to make them feel that they are better than anyone else.
Some narcissistic business leaders are treated like rock stars. But leaders who are humble and admit mistakes outshine them all.
Managers who exhibit traits of humility–such as seeking feedback and focusing on the needs of others–resulted in better employee engagement and job performance. Humility is actually the trait that magnifies all other positive attributes. Without humility all of a leader’s other strengths become diminished if not invisible.
Self-awareness is the foundation of emotional intelligence, a skill that 90% of top performing leaders possess in abundance. Great leaders’ high self-awareness means they have a clear and accurate image not just of their leadership style, but also of their own strengths and weaknesses. Self-awareness allows leaders to identify the gaps in their management skills and uncover the areas in which they are most effective as well as areas that need additional work.
Passion and enthusiasm are contagious. So are boredom and apathy. No one wants to work for a boss that’s unexcited about his or her job, or even one who’s just going through the motions. Great leaders are passionate about what they do, and they strive to share that passion with everyone around them.
A special mention to the process of Learn, Unlearn, Relearn.
In this ever changing tech world, nothing is constant beyound a few days. It requires intense hunger for knowledge to outshine and outperform.