blog | 9min Read
Published on July 28, 2022
The notion of leadership has been extensively analyzed and examined, but a comprehensive way to define leadership skills has remained elusive. For me, leadership skills are oxymoronic as leaders have qualities while managers have the skills. Managers use their skills to direct the employees to a particular task, while leadership is a quality possessed by leaders for employees to get guidance for their work. There is no one leader in a firm, but obviously, there is a specific manager for a department in a firm. That’s where the distinct boundary line is penned.
Everyone hunts for a leader over any other profession in today’s generation. This is because a leader is someone who attracts people to work, can complete a certain task without being bossy or overpowering the others, and have an approachable and inspiring personality, which people look upto. A leader is anyone who guides you to the right path and provides you with constant guidance to achieve what you aspire to.
Fundamentals of Leadership!
What are the fundamentals of leadership? Well, it is exceptionally subjective to how one perceives leadership; however, by the thesaurus or something that I believe means leadership, it is communication, self-awareness, empowerment, adaptability and teamwork. To reiterate, a leader is someone who binds different people and groups to work collaboratively, for which one needs to understand the importance of working in a team and adapt to differences in culture etc.
To begin with, communication is essential as a leader is a person who guides everyone. If a message isn’t clear, the word that is spread across will lose meaning and impact the organization’s work culture.
Moreover, being a leader means taking responsibility for not only yourself but the other team members in the organization. This is denotative of proper communication and information sharing between you and your employee so that customers are satisfied with the positive service. It is the most powerful suite of a leader, as good communication gains trust, aligns efforts in pursuing goals, and inspires positive change.
2. Self-awareness and empowerment
Secondly, self-awareness and empowerment are vital fundamentals of leadership. For being able to communicate effectively and the correct information, it is imperative to be aware of the information in depth so that it is easier to help the employee understand what you expect out of them.
Leadership requires people to bring incremental changes in the organization by motivating and empowering other employees to work towards a common goal, to achieve it faster and in quality.
3. Teamwork and adaptability
Similarly, adaptability and teamwork are important factors that act as the base for a good leader possessing leadership qualities. If you can’t adapt to the culture in your organization, you are unlikely to understand how people believe in something, which leads to a conflict of interest amongst people. To be able to listen and adapt is what aligns the thoughts between two individuals.
Furthermore, lone work leads to decremental productivity and lacking new ideas affecting the quality of work. One has to work in a team to achieve the best of their potential. For a team to work together, it is necessary to bind the team to work together and hear each member to move forward. The need to respect every individual and keep everyone satisfied is the responsibility of a leader who needs to possess the skills to make the team collaborate and work together.
These are the fundamentals of leadership which I believe lay the foundation of the organization as a whole.
The RUDIMENTS of a Good Leader!
What constitutes a good leader? Well, I question that myself. Is it specific skill sets or criteria that make you a good leader? Some leaderships have been characterized as good and used as challenges for others to emulate. This description, however, raises an obvious question: upon what criteria were these leaders described as good? These are the possible questions one often encounters when reading about good leadership. But indeed, there are possible characteristics necessary to be a good leader. The abbreviated term ‘RUDIMENTS’ stands for a leader’s characteristics.
- Reliable; reachable: A person can only lead a team if their focus is relevant and seeks liable solutions. The individual soul should be reliable in assigning work, providing information and being punctual, without which decisions are affected and become inconsistent. Ask yourself if you want to reach out to those you help, to address any problems, solutions, etc.
- Unique: While reliable and reachable, it is necessary to be exceptional simultaneously. If you are another individual from the herd, what is unique about you that makes you a leader? You can’t be a leader if your skill sets match the other 20 people in your classroom. Unique styles, qualifications and ways of working call out for a leader.
- Delve deeply into the problem: As a leader, it is of utmost importance to delve into the situation more profound for viable solutions. It’s essential to go well beyond the mere surface issues! Instead, a basic rule of leading should be to delve deeply consistently so you are prepared and able to make well-considered decisions!
- Imaginative ideas: Creativity is critical for a leader. Question yourself: How will you assure you possess the quality imagination to propel your organization forward? How will you consistently evaluate your ideas’ quality and implement them?
- Motivate: A leader motivates not just himself but his team, not through his motivational speeches or words but one’s actions. You must set an example if you want the others in your organization to work.
- Empathize: Being a leader means being empathetic toward other fellow employees. To set an example, you must be a good listener who understands people’s values and beliefs.
- Needs: True leadership must focus on and address the needs, concerns and priorities of those you serve and represent!
- Timely; trends: Understand, recognize and determine which trends might be relevant and enhance the sustainability and potential of your group! Never resort to procrastination; instead, constantly proceed forward, make well-considered, timely decisions, and take meaningful action.
- Strengthen; a sustainable system: One never becomes a natural leader if his efforts and attention do not consistently strengthen his organization! The goal must be to address current needs and challenges but focus on the best, the sustainable system you will perceive and conceive of, create, develop and implement!
Use RUDIMENTS to understand the rudiments of a leader to become one yourself. These basic principles are the foundation of possessing successful leadership skills
The ten golden rules for leadership!
While it is essential to set the foundation for a successful leader, it is also beneficial to understand the golden rules for leadership, which make it easier to succeed in life and achieve success. The ten golden rules of leadership include:
- Know yourself: it is essential to understand yourself before understanding others. Learning your strengths and weaknesses can help you approach information gathering more tactfully. Self-awareness is a prerequisite for effective leadership.
- The place you work at shows you as a person: Assuming power exposes the leader’s innermost thoughts and feelings. Can leaders effectively use their control if they have gone through a simple self-discovery process?
- Nurture community in your space: Many virtues can be fostered through the right kind of support, guidance, and incentives from leaders.
- Do not waste energy on things you cannot change: Be careful about wasting your time and resources attempting to change or influence things you can’t control.
- Always embrace the truth: Effective leaders should always assume the truth, encourage candid criticism throughout the organization, be skeptical of positive appraisals, and never let authority place a wedge between them and the facts.
- Let competition reveal talent: Nurture an environment that can use the forces of competition constructively, create a platform that releases the ingenuity and creativity of your employees in pursuing corporate goals and objectives, identify subordinates who use competition as a constructive force, steer away from subordinates who use competition as a destructive force.
- Live life by a higher code: Dedicate yourself to a higher standard of personal conduct; don’t harbor ill-will toward those who offend; be ready to assist those who are in need without asking something in return; remain calm in the face of crisis; dedicate yourself to principle without compromise; earn the trust, respect, and admiration of your subordinates through your character, not the authority conferred upon you by the corporate chart; turn authority into power.
- Constantly evaluate information with a critical eye: Don’t rely upon old premises, assertions, and theories. Develop a necessary mindset that accepts nothing at face value, certifies the credibility and usefulness of critical information, analyzes the context that produces vital information and the messengers who convey it, and never rushes to judgments.
- Never underestimate the power of personal integrity: Personal integrity is a critical asset for authentic leadership. Always set an honorable agenda, adhere to a code of professional conduct, never try to justify dishonesty and deceit, rather “fail with honor than win by cheating.”
- Character is destiny: True leadership is ultimately traceable to factors of character and personal integrity; much of what is called “destiny” lies in our hands, not in mysterious forces beyond our control.
These are the ten golden leadership rules that could help one become a successful leader if followed. These character-building tips are the most important thing as a leader. Leadership is a skill, an opportunity, that can be improvised upon by practice rather than theory.
LEADERSHIP AS AN OPPORTUNITY
I believe that leadership is an opportunity. If one understands and unleashes the crux of it, they are meant to become successful leaders. However, if you cannot avail this opportunity, you are doomed. Some of the basic options that leaders get are:
1. The opportunity to help others
Who all do you think a leader can help? Probably their team members, organization, and even customers. If you are a good leader, you can help your team members be more encouraged and work more effectively, which will help improve the organization’s workflow.
You may have noticed that when a pebble is thrown in the pond, it creates concentric circles that keep expanding and enlarging as they ripple from their original point of contact. Similarly, a leader is like a pebble thrown in the pond, whose influence and impact keep enlarging as the organization grows.
2. The opportunity to expand their influence
It is a commonly said fact that good leaders often lead by example. The sentiment behind the sentence is correct, but it is incomplete. Every leader leads by example. A leader just needs to realize if they are setting the correct example that they want people to follow.
When you start to feel people are influenced by your behavior, body language, words etc., you feel satisfied as you set a positive influence in the work environment, which is necessary for a good workflow.
3. The opportunity to bring changes to the world
Leaders set missions, visions and objectives to achieve their goals. If these outcomes are realistic and valuable, a leader has the opportunity to change the world for the better. No one can make a change without anyone initiating and leading from the front.
You have the opportunity to be that person. Buckle up your shoes to start this journey. There is no age to become a leader. Get your hands on possessing leadership skills to become a leader! It is never too late to bring a change, be it in yourself or the world.
To conclude, leadership is a blend of art and science. Some leaders are born / pre-equipped better than others (nature), but intelligent training and development (nurture) can enhance virtually anyone’s leadership capability. Theories and models are used only to underpin “practice” in leadership and tangible world outcomes.
Leadership has become essential in everything, be it college applications. Colleges look for students with excellent leadership skills in their schools. In college applications, you can demonstrate leadership in many ways other than just being a council member or becoming a founder of a newsletter, club, team etc. It can even be done through volunteering or community activism experiences. Doing this shows you as a leader and enhances your application, and makes it more holistic rather than confining it to academic achievements only. And these are the correct ways to improve your leadership skill. As mentioned above, leadership skills can only be developed by practicing them. If you take full advantage of the opportunities provided in school, you can excel quicker than your herd and gain a competitive edge over others.
Lastly, it’s best to be you but also inherit these skills to reach greater heights. Every leader that exhibits leadership qualities is said to become much more successful than the rest! Look ahead and don’t be a part of the herd because you are born to stand out!