What Does ‘Being a Leader’ Mean To You? The Leader You Want to Be in 2021
Vandana is an Executive Coach (ICF-PCC), Facilitator & Motivational Speaker with rich industry & global experience. She has more than 2500 hours of coaching & over 5000 days of Training journey, empowering individuals and organizations to achieve true potential. She is empowered with over a dozen degrees and licenses and a catalyst to over 200 clients in various countries like India, USA, UK, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Europe & Africa.
American Author, John C. Maxwell definition of A Leader – “One Who KNOWS the way, GOES the way, and SHOWS the way”.
A businessman. A Corporate Honcho. A coach. A teacher. A volunteer coordinator. A parent. Whether you are one of these things or all these things, one thing remains true: You are a leader. But where are you on your leadership journey, and where do you go from here?
A Bite from Susan Thomas Journey
Last week my friend Susan Thomson – IT Manager at a Multinational company visited me after a long time. Since it was a Saturday, we decided to spend the day together. There were so many things to share with each other. I asked Susan about her job and professional life. She pours the coffee into her mug and sat on the couch. Her forehead had a crease, eyes wandering as if she is stuck in a maze and searching the ways. ‘I again asked her; Susan, how is your work-life going on? What’s happening there?’ this time she replied, ‘I feel like a ship without a sail – – I am just floating yet have no direction. As trite as it sounds, I need the “wind”, encouragement, support, and fervor to propel me forward towards reaching my goals. My ship is … I am … It’s the machine that’s working’.
I paused for a moment and revisited her answer in my mind. I sensed something not right with Susan, and further asked her the reason for her feelings. And she said she does not have direction, do not know where she will reach in her career, lack of freedom and support and her boss Keren would never understand her emotions, would not empathize with her and instead leave her with emotional hurt, sometimes, karen her boss will shout at her in front of her team members. She further said that at times she is so affected by her environment at work, that provokes her to vent out to her team members and sometimes reached in her relationship with her husband. She said, no matter how hard I try, my boss is influencing my behaviors.
I asked Susan, “What kind of a Leader you would like to work with? What are the qualities you are looking for in your Leader?”
She took a deep breath and started thinking as if she is visualizing another version of Karen. After few minutes, she looked at me with a smile and said, ‘Just the kind of Leader I am trying to become’ and What is it? She opened her heart and explained the definition of a leader in her life. Her interpretation reminded me of the 5 Ps – A Leader’s qualities explained in one of the Leadership books I read in past.
The first step toward becoming a leader is learning to lead yourself. We are so habitual to searching for people or things to blame for the way we feel.
The 5 Ps of A Leader Are:
The first step toward becoming a leader is learning to lead yourself. We are so habitual in searching for people or things to blame for the way we feel. We are not trained to looking inward and wonder why we feel the way that we do and where these feelings arise from. We may not have absolute control over everything that happens, but we do have complete control over how we react to those things. So, become aware of yourself. Understand who you are, how you are, your feelings, and others around you. This understanding will help you to learn to lead yourself in all situations, you can prioritize things, your self-awareness enables you to remain in self-discipline.
We cannot force anyone to like us, love us, get inspired by us, and follow us. People make their own choices of who to follow, and they follow those they want to, which means they are giving permission to lead them. So, on what parameters leaders get permission to lead their followers? People like their leaders to be their role-model, display high values, have balanced emotions, and empathize with others, respect and values others, and encourages others to grow and chase their life goals and dreams.
A great leader takes his teams with him. He knows his people’s strengths and weaknesses. Instead of pulling them down and shouting, a leader motivates his teams to look at a problem as an opportunity, encourages them to push and go the extra mile to take the risk, identify possible solutions and produce results that seemed impossible before. A Leader gets things done.
A Leader develops more leaders. Believes in taking everyone along with him. He identifies potential in his people, builds a strategic roadmap, and invests his interest, time, efforts, and makes resources available for developing his people. He believes in investing in future leaders and the reproduction of more and more talent. A Leader values the worth of his people, goes back to the drawing board. Sit back with the knowledge that his team has strengths to bring to the table. They have values, morals, and steady core beliefs that are worth investment. A Leader will show the image of what successful leadership is supposed to look like and builds them accordingly.
Pinnacle Leadership is all together resilient leaders and cohesive teams. A leader exceeds his position and even his organization. A Leader stands out from everyone else. He is a cut above and brings success with them. Their Leadership lifts the entire organization and creates an environment of solutions, success, and benefits for all. The Leader is a great influencer, displays gratitude and humility. They do not sit and enjoy their success, instead, they reproduce many leaders like them, creates impact in their organization as well as their industry.
Dive inward into yourself and have a check-in; Are you Leading or Bossing? Are you a ‘Go-First’ leader? What is the true definition of a leader you are living in right now? No matter at what stage of leadership or ‘P’ level of the leadership you are at now. Begin to become aware of your leadership levels and start creating your own roadmap, scale up the ladder to reach the ultimate Pinnacle as a Leader.