Through all my years of experience in the business world in various capacities, I’ve come to strongly believe that first and foremost leaders are avid followers, pleasant peers and have great leadership qualities, to help positively influence team members and clients. And while some of us may have been born with these traits, theories suggest that such skills and qualities can be learned through training and practice.
My personal journey in business had also been greatly influenced by practice of heartfulness meditation for more than two decades which has made to turn more towards the concepts of Moral Leadership or Heartful Leadership. Rather than aspiring to being followed, a leader aims to serve. Instead of showcasing their own skills, they tend to develop the capacities of others. It is no longer about the positions but by a deep sense of ethics, driven by core ideals and often motivated by the pursuit of a higher purpose. Let me state few ideas on effective attributes as I see fit:
Trusting one’s intuition: As the saying goes that Leaders create leaders, not followers. An important quality of good leadership is letting go of control. Are you in control when you are asleep or while you are dreaming? Can you control the inner functions in your body? Your heart pumps oxygen on its own. Are you in control of your thoughts? Sometimes you can, but not always.So, when you realize you really do not have any hold over all the aspects of your life, then you learn that the idea that you are controlling is an illusion. As a leader, you need to learn to let go and trust your inner instincts by keeping mental contact. I have explained in more detail on this in one of my videos under “Most effective management techniques”. Click on the link here to watch the video.
Leading by example: A leader leads by example and not just issues orders. He communicates others how to do things by first doing them himself and then delegates to let others take the responsibility. He cares for those whom he is leading and finds joy in other’s accomplishments. A true leader needs a gut to stand alone and look ridiculous to set example.
Balances Heart and Mind: A successful leader preserves a balance by attending to the head as well as the heart. When he needs to commit himself to his work, he listens to his soul. In other areas of his life, he listens to his heart. He is attentive in times of crisis and not troubled; rather he sees challenges as opportunities. We are all leaders, no one is more valuable or “above” anyone else, and everyone brings their innate gifts and brilliance as a valuable contribution to the world.
Empathy not apathy: An effective leader is able to put himself in others’ shoes and analyze things from their point of view. He communicates through emotions and encourages by wisdom. As a leader we should have an ability to temporarily suspend our own opinions and understand from the heart. Empathy for leadership works as a great fellow feeling tool to connect with someone at an interpersonal level creating encouragement to work better.
Vision with resilience: A true leader has a longstanding vision and the short-range plan to work on it. A great strategy but a slow execution has greater chances of failing. Strategy and execution both should go hand in hand fulfilling organizations long term vision. A good leader should be ready to put the association, before his individual needs. That sense of sacrifice is necessary.
Humility: A virtuous leader does not exhibit that he is a leader and becomes one among everybody. He just sees himself as part of the group. A sense of belongingness makes him interact with the ones he leads. Developing good human relationship skills is a necessary quality in a successful leader, being clear is the most important trait of an effective leader. Especially when it comes to working with millennials and the younger workforce, it is important for them to understand the huge picture.
Patience and poise: For most leaders the pearl of wisdom is patience. Although it is an easy thing to talk about, but extremely difficult to practice. Leaders who recognize the power of patience can take stock of the situation, understand what is required, and wait while they build the capacity to take appropriate and effective action. Leadership requires patience in the mind and dynamism in action.
Management is about doing things right but leadership is about doing the right things.