The Leadership Challenge

As per some experts, there are no born leaders. People need to learn different skills form their surroundings and go through many different things in order to transform themselves into true leaders that command respect instead of demanding it. It is important for you to develop into a really skillful and true business leader nowadays because the leadership challenge has never been so stiff and difficult to surmount. The ever changing financial condition of the world and latest developments in the technology has made is compulsory for every one regardless of his status in the organization to be a leader and role model for others so that everyone can work collectively in order to attain a higher goal.

What Actually is leadership?
Jim kouzes says that “Leadership is not a place, it’s not a gene, and it’s not a secret code that can’t be deciphered by ordinary people. The truth is that leadership is an observable set of skills and abilities.” Leadership is actually the business of everyone who is a part of any organization, group or team, the members of which are working together to attain a common goal. Moreover, leadership is not all about forcing others to abide by your orders but it is in fact, a relationship in which you mobilize your colleagues and subordinates to struggle for shared aspirations.

Furthermore, it can be said that practicing leadership is the process of self-development. If you happen to be a good leader and role model of others, you will definitely uncover some hidden qualities you possess and learn how to deal with certain situations and behave with others in best manner possible. Most importantly, leadership is not a onetime stint but it is an ongoing process during which you learn new skills and techniques about how to lead your team to success.

In fact, poor leadership will instigate the journey towards failures and absolute catastrophes. Therefore, you  need to change the way you lead others in order to avoid disasters  and expedite the process of achieving success in short and long runs. In fact, leadership is a difficult art to master and requires constant and deliberate practice. According to Lao Tsu;

“ if you do not change direction, you might end up where you are heading.”

The Five Practices:
As mentioned above, leadership is synonymous to constant practice. There are in fact, 5 core practices you need to do in order to be a good, result oriented and respected leader. These practices are explained in detail one by one in the following lines.

  • Model the Way:
    The first and foremost core practice of leadership is to formulate a set model you will following while leading and managing your business team. For instance, you need to clarify your values by finding your voice and affirming the shared ideas. You should also set the example by aligning actions and shared values. You also need to develop some characteristics that every great leader is proud of such as you should be ambitious enough, broad minded, caring, competent, courageous, cooperative, dependable, determined and imaginative and independent etc.
  • Inspire a shared Vision:
    First of all, it is imperative for you to envision the future by exploring and imagining ennobling and exciting possibilities. Subsequently, it is your moral duty to enlists others in a common vision by appealing to shared inspirations. Most importantly, you need to give your team a vision and action plan for the future. A vision is actually, “an idea and unique image of future for the common good.” You should utilize your leadership skills to make your colleagues and subordinates work diligently and honestly for a common cause. Only, then you will be able to attain the goals set forth in your vision for the future.
  • Challenge the Process:
    One of the most important characteristics of a true leader is that he does not reinvent the wheel but challenges the process in vogue. The best method to do so is to seize any opportunity that comes your way by looking for innovative and out of the box methods to improve and fully exploiting the initiatives. You must be willing to experiment and take risks to learn from your experience and constantly creating small wins that will combine to bring larger success for you. John Lee Carre has beautifully summarized this concept in the following worlds.

“A desk is dangerous place from which to watch the world.”

  • Enable Others to Act:
    Leadership is not about forcing others to act but it is about mobilizing them and encouraging them to act for the betterment of the organization in particular and that of its member in general. You need to eliminate ‘I’ from your dictionary and replace it with ‘We.’ There is a very popular saying that when the work of good leader is finished, all the people involved say that ‘we’ did it ourselves. In this regard, it is important for you to foster collaboration by facilitating relationships and building trust among team members. Similarly, it is also necessary for you to strengthen others and give them value by developing competence and increasing self-determination.

Delegating your powers and sharing information with others is an exceptional method to become a true and really successful leader in any field of life. Involving people in decision making process and allowing discretions in decision will make things easier for you because it is ultimately the staff or your subordinates that will actually work on the project. You should back and support people when they make decisions and assign non routines jobs to everyone from time to time to keep them engaged and interested in the project. Similarly, you must clear away the obstacles preventing people to work according to their potential instead of creating new problems for them. Finally, eliminating rules and regulations for sometimes will also encourage people to be more productive.

  • Encourage the Heart:
    Last but not the least, you need to encourage and appreciate your subordinates for the good work they have done. You should recognize contributions by appreciating the individual excellence and create a spirit of community by celebrating winds and values. According to an expert,

“Ceremonies, celebrations, and rituals are not about the event. They’re about touching the hearts and souls of every employee.”

Finally, you have to decide what type of leader you want to be known as. Do you want to be remembered as the leaders who is disliked by everyone no matter how successful you are or a leader who is respected and revered by others despite of his failures. The decision rests with you.

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  2. By Bob Bennett

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