Leadership – the action of leading a group of people or an organization, or the ability to do this. But what does it mean to be a Leader? On one of my recent trips to The United Arab Emirates, I have come across an interesting description of what makes a good Leader, here it is:
L is for Look & Listen – good leaders have a vision and the ability to clearly communicate it with their employees. The journey to defining your vision starts with observations & analysis, none of which is possible to fully achieve without looking & listening. So, step out of your office and spend some time with the rest of your company, it will help you immensely.
E is for Emotional Bonding – this is about creating strong bonds with your employees. Take a genuine interest in others without forgetting to share yourself. Don’t shy away from questions such as ‘how do you feel’, ‘how do I feel’ and ‘what are the stumbling blocks between us’. Showing vulnerability is not a weakness, quite the opposite, it shows that you are human.
A is for Awareness – visionary leaders embrace change and see it as birthplace of possibility. ‘Who am I’, ‘what do I want’ and ‘what does this scenario requires from me’ – these are some of the questions visionary leaders ask of themselves all the time.
D is for Doing – good leaders are action oriented, they act as role models and are open to receiving an honest feedback – they often seek it themselves. Respected leaders are persistent and take the time to celebrate successes.
E is for Empowerment – a fruit of successful actions. Share your responsibilities and help to bring out the best in the others, support by standing in the shadow – share your pearls of wisdom but don’t tell how to get to the finish line, everyone is different and they will learn only by discovering their natural talents, not by copying yours.
R is for Responsibility – this is about taking on considered risk (not the reckless ones), walking the talk (lips service is a big no-no), having integrity (people are not easily fooled, despite what you may think) and living in accordance with your personal and company values. Your behaviour affects the people around you.
S is for Synchronicity – which is never accidental and always has a purpose. It validates that all of your leadership motives are true. It also links with your ‘gut feeling’ – what is your gut trying to tell you? If it is bothering you, explore it. If it makes you feel good about your decisions – great, you are on the right path.
Leadership is en evolving journey, with many ups and downs along the way – but everyone’s path is different. Walk yours – it is simply enough.
[Based on The Soul of Leadership by Deepak Chopra; Rider 2011]