Over the past 8-10 months, these questions have been taking a bulk share in my lil head, and managed to grey out a lil more or my remaining black hair.
Let’s define this leader specimen… “Specimen” for they cannot be a species and are rare to find. Apart for the plethora of various leadership definitions from the out-right harassed Dilbert to the BIG Gurus of Management, one common thread among all their definitions is - A leader should be made to sustain – sustain him/herself against all odds, exceed and rule over his normal demands of human life, and then be able to have still extra stuff left to pass on to team, businesses..etc..etc… that’s quite a demanding thing.
The dearth for leadership comes from the following points I suppose:
Appreciate the wide spectrum of business –
one cannot easily appreciate the spectrum of nitigrity of a complex business – in simple terms, change can only be injected and effective, when one can understand the nitigrities of a system, but the vision should be far beyond the nitigrities– For example – how the productivity and contribution to a business in impacted by a process change at a micro level, can escalate to a impact on a macro business level. How the Macro and micro are understood simultaneously is a challenge, leave alone driving it.
Trans-fixing employee aspirations to defined business goals –
Something that is hard to believe; People change and can be changed – somehow somewhere deep inside, most of us believe the contrary though we see numerous example of this change. For a moment – how much have you and I changed in the last 1 yr?!!!A leader enables this change in people by trans-fixing employee aspirations to defined business goals. Note: Trans-fix and not MATCH! It means that a leader will enable a thriving of different thoughts and people, foster Heterogeneous(ity) contrary to popular notions of “Homogenous ness”. This is an absolute rarity to find. Most often we have people who only drive the contrary.
Not be a dreamer!
All that huge jargon about having a vision, dreams is not really what goes a leader. A leader is one who enables a thousand others to dreams, help realize the dreams, and converts a few of those dreams into reality ! Phew .. Let me explain – Which business was all the dream of one single man – some of the biggest businesses were built by the absurd dreams of the most simple people in an organization – Somewhere its assumed that, it’s not the work of employees to dream and a leader is paid to dream (sleep?) .. BUT…the leader has to have a absolute belief and clarity of what, how and where his company needs to head in 5 yrs now, all against the single backdrop of Industry and changing demands. He as an individual is allowed to dream, but not allowed to drive his one point dream as a motto. Why, one point dream companies become a hot successful venture and get acquired before they can fully realize the dream or were there more dreams at all?
Another hard to find trait – It’s human to demand respect – A leader should enable every person to come to a state to respect him/herself and feel proud of themselves. Once an individual / business can do this, it automatically fosters respect and appreciation for the other point of view.
That’s where teams start getting built, where business starts growing – when I understand what I as a business unit can do, and then appreciate competition, client needs…and voila …solution and growth of business.
Rigid and fliud!
Yes, that’s right – need to be as hard as ice, to take down a Titanic, but yet be able to be a fluid to take any necessary shape that you are cast into. (Does this sound like accommodating - absolutely NO!).
Leaders don’t accommodate, they create spaces initially for people and business to grow, and one they/ it matures, the spaces should disappear, as both should be of the same – Rigid and fluid
That’s what makes a true leader – The dearth exists not because these qualities are in lacking, but because, the combination of these qualities together lack.
I hope to be one of those leaders, and hope to see many more – the newest economy needs leaders - any one for the taking ?