“To Be a Great Leader, First Become a Great Person.” ~ Robin Sharma
Every business book, leadership workshop and training, executive meeting and coaching session talk about leadership. It is the hot topic of this era, and we have seminars/conferences all over the world trying to understand and educate people more about leadership.
What is Leadership? Every book, writer, speaker and even leader have their own definitions of leadership. Mine is “the Ability to Inspire”. To be a leader who inspires, from my point of view, the below are the top three ingredients to succeed (and they have nothing to do with your skills):
Believing: You cannot be a leader who inspires others if you do not believe in your own capabilities and potentials. Leaders do not question every decision they make, although they make mistakes (who doesn’t!) but they turn this process into a learning exercise rather a self punishment one. Leaders, not only believe in their potentials but they believe in others. How can you inspire someone if you do not believe in them, their capabilities, potentials and values! They believe in you and want to develop, enhance and unleash your full potentials.
It is WE not ME: If your only concerns are your own success, needs, financial security and growth without prioritizing your team, your people and the organization, let me say it to you straight in the face, you are not one of those leaders that we need, admire, thrive with, or could impact someone’s life positively. True Leaders are selfless. They’ve got your back, and you know when things get tough, they would be willing to sacrifice some of their privileges even all for the overall benefit of the organization, of their employees and colleagues. They have followers not because of their authorities, but because they make others feel belong, feel loved and appreciated.
Good Human Being: Can a person who lacks manners considered as a leader? (let’s not mention Donald Trump though! Some might consider him a leader but based on my definition above of leadership, he didn’t even made it in my Top 1 Million Leaders list!) Can an abusive husband/father/partner be a leader? Can a person who supports division, inequality, injustice and use manipulation as a base of their success be considered a leader. The answer is trillion Nos (for me at least!)
These ingredients are not enough if you are afraid to raise your hand (even your voice if you are a woman and being hushed at a meeting!), speak up, challenge the status quo, ask questions, and challenge answers sometimes. What is the worst thing that can happen if you say your opinion out loud: Nothing. But, on the other hand, what is the best thing that can happen: you might change someone’s life, others’ lives, your organization, your society and even a nation!
Be a Leader