“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”- John Quincy Adams
The human journey has always been about following than about anything else. Every generation waits for an extraordinary visionary; a man of strength, purpose and direction who can be followed. Leadership is the foundation of all human achievements so far. Most of what we have accomplished over the years would have been impossible without the necessary direction of our visionary leaders. Most of us would like to think that leadership is a behavioural quality possessed by a few rare individuals who have been gifted with it. In reality, leadership is not a quality but a necessity. Ordinary individuals when driven by extraordinary vision and purpose, start exhibiting behavioural traits that can influence, inspire and lead others which we collectively call Leadership.
We are all leaders, whether we use and display our leadership qualities or not. It depends on the vision and purpose that we are trying to achieve. A Leader is defined by what he is trying to accomplish. It is impossible to develop leadership qualities without possessing a clear vision and a desire to accomplish something. The easiest and the simplest way to bring out the leader within you is by harbouring a vision that can become a life-consuming purpose.
Here are a few key qualities that every good leader should possess, and learn to emphasize:
- Honesty: Whatever ethical values you hold, when you are responsible for a team of people, it’s important to raise the bar higher.
- Delegation: Delegating work is one of the most important skills of a leader as doing everything yourself is not possible and leads to poor quality work.
- Communication: Communication is the key. It is important to let the people know your vision and convey exactly what you expect out of them.
- Confidence: As the leader, by staying calm and confident, you will help keep everyone feeling the same.
- Commitment: By proving your commitment to your vision, you will not only earn the respect of the people but will also instil that same hardworking energy among everyone.
Einstein, Gandhi, Galileo, Hawking and many such great people were considered great leaders not because of their genetic trait of leadership or because of their unique ability to lead. They were leaders because they were able to nurture visions of a far greater impact and purpose than themselves.
Leadership is possible only through inspiration and influence. In fact, true leadership is simply the aftermath of destruction left behind by the force that is chasing a dream. As a leader, your vision and purpose should stand so tall that it should tower over all other small desires and necessities. When you move towards accomplishing your vision, you leave behind a path for others to follow.
In essence, leadership is an art of inspiring without inspiring. A leader is not someone who urges you to follow; he is someone who makes it impossible for you not to follow, for he sees a vision far grander than you.
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”- John C Maxwell