Warren Bennis once stated, “leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” Great leaders possess impressive social intelligence, a zeal for change, and for the most part, a vision that allows them to set their sights on the issues that truly merit attention.
The responsibility of leaders is to develop a vision, provide direction and foster inspiration. Yet, while leaders set direction, they must use management skills to guide their people correctly. The mapped route must arrive at the proper destination.
An effective leader, therefore is a person who –
- Creates an inspiring vision of the future. Leadership is proactive – problem solving, looking ahead, and not being satisfied with things as they are.
- Motivates and inspires people to engage with that vision. Effective leaders link together two different expectations – first, that hard work leads to good results, and next that good results lead to attractive rewards or incentives. This motivates people to work hard to achieve success, because they expect to enjoy the resulting rewards.
- Manages delivery of the vision. Work allocation, delegation and monitoring will ensure effectiveness. This also includes change management. Changes must be implemented smoothly and thoroughly.
- Coaches and builds a team, so that it is more effective at achieving the vision. Individual and team development are important activities. First, great leaders understand their team dynamics. Successful teams are created because the leader ensures that team members have the necessary skills and abilities to do their job and achieve the vision. They identify, leadership potential in others and nurture this. This creates and environment that ensures success over the long term.
Leader and Leadership should be understood properly. These roles are often confused with people who are just managers. Managers may be highly skilled, good at their jobs, and valuable to their organizations – but that does not make them leaders.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
Categories: Life Learnings
Tags: Coach, Delegation, Development, Direction, Dream, Expectation, Inspiration, Leader, Leadership, Learn, Management, Nurture, Potential, Proactive, Skills, Vision
Once Krishna and Arjuna were walking towards a village. Arjuna was pestering Krishna, asking him why Karna should be considered a role model for all ‘danas’ (donations) and not himself. Krishna, wanting to teach him a lesson snapped his fingers. The mountains beside the path they were walking on turned into gold. Krishna said “Arjuna, distribute these two mountains of gold among the villagers, but you must donate every last bit of gold”. Arjuna went into the village, and proclaimed he was going to donate gold to every villager, and asked them to gather near the mountain. The villagers sang his praises and Arjuna walked towards the mountain with a huffed up chest. For two days and two continuous nights Arjuna shovelled gold from the mountain and donated to each villager. The mountains did not diminish in their slightest.
Most villagers came back and stood in queue within minutes. After a while, Arjuna, started feeling exhausted, but not ready to let go of his ego just yet, told Krishna he couldn’t go on any longer without rest. Krishna called Karna. “You must donate every last bit of this mountain, Karna” he told him. Karna called two villagers. “You see those two mountains?” Karna asked, “those two mountains of gold are yours to do with as you please” he said, and walked away.
Arjuna sat dumbfounded. Why hadn’t this thought occurred to him? Krishna smiled mischievously and told him, “Arjuna, subconsciously you yourself were attracted to the gold, you regretfully gave it away to each villager, giving them what you thought was a generous amount. Thus the size of your donation to each villager depended only on your imagination. Karna holds no such reservations. Look at him walking away after giving away a fortune, he doesn’t expect people to sing his praises, he doesn’t even care if people talk good or bad about him behind his back. That is the sign of a man already on the path of enlightenment”.