Leadership is probably the category where the highest number of column inch is dedicated every year for the last 30+ years, cutting across all genres from politics to professional education. And its understandable. The world is divided into two kinds of people – people who want to be a great leader or people who want to be under a great leader. There is no in between, none seating on the sidelines not looking to get involved. And no matter which of the aforementioned group you belong to; leadership is important for you to understand, to practice, to adopt.
A lot of smart words from a lot of wise men have been spoken about the artful science of leadership. I am not going to elaborate on those obvious lines. What I would like to state (or re-instate, depending on if you came across these pearls of wisdom before) are some rarely highlighted leadership principles that somehow gets lost among the clichéd dictums.
Leadership Tip 1: Be the leader you want to have
Its actually as simple as that. Gandhi spoke in similar vein when he said that instead of preaching change, or advocating change or forcing change, we should “Be the Change”, that we want to see in the world. It starts with you and your mindset. In your professional career you come across some nightmarish bosses and while there is every chance when you bash those bosses in watercooler discussions, you slowly but surely become that nightmarish boss yourself. The circle is passed on.
That’s why to be a great leader for others, simply think about a great leader you would like to follow. Then do everything to become that person in every possible way.
Leadership Tip 2: Realize, its no longer about you.
There comes a moment in every people’s life when faced against the great mysteries of life he or she soon come to realize his life decisions are no longer limited to him only. It’s a rite of passage, the beautiful act of growing up.
In organizations also something similar happens. People start at the bottom, fighting and proving their way up, showing all the time that he is the top dog that everyone should bet on. But most people do not cross over that initial myopic professional view that they adopt. They carry on thinking that’s its always about him, his performance vs others. This kind of people usually become a great executive and employee, probably a star performer. What he fails to evolve into is a great leader.
A great leader understands its no longer about him only. In fact, its about everyone and everything else except him. The best leaders have the highest radius of influence beyond his or her immediate work or subordinates. Those are the people who influences others, to whom all of us prefer to go for advice or direction, even when we know his expertise on your line of work must be lower than yours.
To make that great transition, stop acting like you are the only thing matters.
Leadership Tip 3: Act like you own it
Ownership of work is a principle that is often discussed as a “right” for every employees, where they feel they can have significant say in the things that they do and how they do it. But turn it around, and all of sudden the right becomes a responsibility. Good leaders own their work. They are the ones who say “I got this”, no matter how important or insignificant it is.
In that way, “Ownership” separates boys from men, leaders from followers, performers from non performers.