Leadership: Part B
Leadership should not be about the title one holds; rather, it should be about the capacity to lead or the ability to lead others to achieve specific results. In addition, Leadership should be about building a team, motivating it and enabling those in that team to feel as part of something larger than self.
Leadership is also about effective communication and trust. To that end, a leader should not be a burly, manipulative or authoritative in order to gain respect. ‘You cannot force people to respect you. Respect is earned and a leader should earn his/her respect.
A leader should achieve desired results with pride and he/she should not be embarrassed if what he/she did appears in Headlines of morning news. One thing I have come to realize is that the term Leadership is often placed on many, yet few understand its significance. Whereas some may define leadership as one who is in command, Webster Dictionary defines Leadership as “office or position of a leader; capacity to lead; the act or an instance of leading”. Afghan proverb says it best. ‘If you think you’re leading and no one is following you, then you’re only taking a walk’.
The following are some Critical Qualities a leader must possess.
Integrity, Decisiveness, Vision, Consistency, Initiative, Unselfishness, the Ability to Build Teams and Incorporate Diversity: I will address one of this qualities now and the others in the future articles.
Integrity is the strength of character and the ability to stay the course. It is being true to self, doing or saying things that one is proud to explain. As human beings, we all face conflicting desires in life. However, the ability to make a worthwhile choice from other choices that may have the strongest desire is what determines our integrity. To better understand this, let us assume that you hold a position in an office and that you are faced with a conflicting decision of whether to take a bribe and manipulate some documents or not to take the bribe and stay broke. Choosing what has the strongest desire (bribe) than what is more or less worthwhile
(not to take the bribe and stay broke) determines one’s integrity.
Let us address this argument further from a moral perspective. Consider a married person who is out of town for a business trip, who meets a person of the opposite sex and are attracted to each other. Should they elope and fulfill their desires or should they abstain and remain faithful to their respective spouses?
The simple answer to this is that Integrity does not require supervision. It is your inner ability to say or do what is right. It is always important to ask yourself “How would I feel if what I do or say today appears on tomorrow’s News Headlines? This simple question would help to achieve two important things when it comes to Integrity.
First and foremost, it will help you to have a good relationship with self – Self integration or Self-control. “How will I feel” if what I did is disclosed? How do you relate to yourself as a human being?
Secondly, “What will people say or think about me?”-Your Identity. Since what appears in News is for the society. Then the question becomes: “Did I act morally?” -what is required by the society?
Many leaders have quit or resigned from their prestigious positions just because they chose that which had the strongest desire rather than what is worthwhile. As one leader correctly asserted: “Integrity matters to most
people. If your self-worth is shaky, integrity will be hidden from view. There is no twilight zone of honesty. It is either honest or dishonest”.
To be continued in….. part 2