"Leadership is not a position or a title. It is action and example."
- Robin Sharma.
Leadership is the only thing differentiating a growth mindset from a stagnant one. In today’s fast-paced world filled with vague distractions, keeping track of one’s well-being and growth is challenging. The concept of leadership can be divided into five main aspects.
To begin with, what is leadership? Leadership is not a professional skill set; it is an essential life skill to deal with the world. A popular self-help book, "The Leader Who Had No Title," emphasizes that leadership is not limited to those with formal positions of power. Instead, anyone can be a leader and make a difference, regardless of their title or status.
The concept of leadership can be classified into five main aspects.1. Lead by Example:
"The true test of leadership is how you behave when no one is watching."
- Practice integrity and honesty in all interactions with others.
- Set an example of positivity and enthusiasm in the workplace or community.
- Empathy towards others is one of the main aspects of a Leader.
Ratan Tata, the former chairman of Tata Group, is renowned for his integrity and empathetic leadership style. He demonstrated this during the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai by visiting victims' families, ensuring the safety of guests and employees, and implementing changes to improve security measures. His actions showed his commitment to his employees and also the customers, which helped maintain the public's trust and respect for him.2. Be Passionate and Stay Focused:
"Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you."
- Leaders must cultivate a passion for what they do and let it drive their actions and decisions.
- Stay focused on their goals and pursue them with determination and purpose.
- Be surrounded by positive and supportive people who share their passion and vision.
Mother Teresa and the wave of kindness implanted around her through generations is an eternal example of being true to one’s passion against all odds. Every student desires to be in a particular profession; but only a few stay focused. The world has many inspiring stories of successful individuals who did not give up on their dreams when things seemed difficult.3.Embrace Change:
"Change is the only constant. Embrace it, for it is the key to growth and development."
- A leader must be open to new ideas and perspectives for growth and development.
- Take calculated risks and embrace challenges as opportunities.
- Be adaptive in one’s approach, and be willing to pivot when necessary.
New Zealand is the country that tackled the bout of coronavirus with ease, averting the financial crisis. Lady behind this miracle flaunted her baby bump into the office. She proved no one can handle a situation better than a mother. - former prime minister Jacinda Ardern embraced her change in life with grace.4. Communicate Effectively:
"Great leaders are great communicators."
- A leader should develop strong communication skills, including listening, speaking, and writing.
- Be clear and concise, and tailor one’s communication style to one’s audience.
- Seeking feedback from others and using it to improve one’s communication skills is also recommended.
The leadership style of Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, illustrates this concept. Schultz is known for his commitment to transparency in his communications with employees and customers. He has been credited with creating a culture of authenticity at Starbucks, reflected in the company's mission statement, "to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time."5. Practice Self-Care:
"Leadership starts with self-care."
- Taking care of physical and mental health through regular exercise, healthy eating, and self-reflection is one of the best habits to cultivate.
- It is important to set aside time for personal growth and development through activities such as reading, meditating, or learning new skills.
Health is often taken for granted unless one encounters a significant inconvenience affecting the quality of life and work. Being in charge of one’s body is a vital responsibility. Health is a prime factor in being independent. Defining boundaries and setting aside time for mental and physical rejuvenation is equivalent to a significant trajectory in a career.
To summarise, leadership lies in accountability and not titles. Leadership is about being accountable to oneself, to work, and to people around at large. Every one of us needs to practice this in everyday life to keep us charged and motivated to reach our goals.