Leadership is an art and not a science. Which leaders do you admire and would like to emulate? The names could vary from Mahatma Gandhi, Anna Hazare, Ratan Tata, Shivaji, Churchill or your parents. How many of you would like to put your name there or even close to them? If you do then read on otherwise give up now. Leadership is not about having a big fan following. It is about doing ones best in whatever situation you are in. A bus driver is the leader of the bus full of passengers going from place A to place B. He takes the responsibility of driving the passengers safely to their destination.
Leadership qualities are no secret and you can list these down on paper. These qualities could be – a Visionary, has Goal & role clarity, commitment, integrity, honesty, a +ve attitude and many more. This is quite a big list and if one is to possess every quality in abundance, this person would be a super human. But then some leaders are indeed super human – not super human powers, but super human qualities.
Of these many qualities, there are some qualities that a leader of stature MUST have, these are non-negotiable qualities. These qualities are like the foundation of a 100 storey building. What does an architect or a builder do first in order to design a 100 storey building? Design the foundation! It’s the foundation that will determine if the building can withstand strong winds, weather the storms that are bound to come, and last 100 years. If the foundation is weak the building will crumble at the slightest hint of trouble, but a strong foundation is essential for a building or a leader to outlast and overcome the challenges. Hence, some of the leadership qualities are like the building’s foundation that must be strong and powerful.
The first basic quality that comes under this is “Commitment”. Commitment simply put is ‘keeping your word’, ‘walk the talk’, ‘do what you say’. Commitment leads to predictability. It has a sense of certainty. Commitment leads to better planning and predicting what could happen in the future in an uncertain environment. If a leader is committed he automatically becomes trustworthy.
Many a times people say it is easier said than done, more so in India where the common disdain is that Indians lack a sense of commitment, that we have what is called as a ‘Chalta hai’ and a ‘so what difference does it make’ attitude. This leads to a lot of frustration when dealing with such people and either you lose your shirt trying to get people to stick to their commitments or you lose your business. There would be cost overruns, your schedules go for a toss and you land up with a great deal of stress, for no fault of yours. Businesses that last generations are those that have always displayed a high level of commitment even bordering on paranoia. So whether it is your personal life or your business ensure you have 100% commitment to whatever you do and you will be trusted, respected and admired. Your stature grows, your business grows.
Commander Girish Konkar (retd) : Leadership & Executive Coach, Facilitator, Team Builder, Motivational / Keynote Speaker. He regularly conducts the widely acclaimed Leadership and Motivational workshop “Winner For Life”.