Leadership is often the key to the success or failure of organization in all contexts whether business, religious groups, Military, academic institutions etc.
People everywhere are starving for leadership… starving to connect with leaders who are believable, trustworthy, and capable of actualizing constructive changes, who can transform the character of organizations and curtail the exploitation of people and natural resources, inequalities of educational and economic access, and stress from an impossible pursuit of happiness through unlimited desires and acquisitiveness
In order to be a successful manager, one has to be an effective leader. The difference between a manager and a leader is that the manager stays at the back and pushes people into the system, while a leader stands in the front and pulls the people along with him. The manager administrates and maintains, while a leader innovates and develops. The manager relies on system and counts on control while a leader relies on people and counts on their trust. As such the manager enables things to be done right, while a leader does the right things through inspiration.
Hence, the organizational world demands leader’s not just managers. Who is a true leader? Somebody has beautifully defined a leader as “one who never reacts, but observes, understands, analyzes and then acts decisively.”
The 6 C’s perfectly describe an ideal leader. A leader is a cool and calm person. He would not lose his patience. This reduces confusion and he possesses a clear vision that is a clear understanding of what he is doing and why and how is he going to do it. This enables him to be confident and therefore has a high level of commitment and while performing he becomes highly creative in his ways. This is how he becomes a source of inspiration.
Peter Drucker stated that leaders should lead not only through knowledge and skill but through courage, responsibility, and integrity.” (Drucker, The Principles of Management, 1955)
Character impacts the leader’s effectiveness with both vision and people. Character expands our horizons to include the interests of those beyond ourselves; thus it can illumine knowledge and convert it into wiser and more compelling visions. Character also creates resonance between the leader and others; by this the leader moves beyond “compliance” and inspires inner commitment. A true leader inspires people to take the initiative, based on their own intrinsic values, to implement a noble vision.
True leaders must inspire courage, integrity, trust, and personal brilliance in their colleagues. Their leadership must be based on their personal character, and must build integrity and character throughout the organization.
When we exercise leadership based on spiritual values, we build the character and reputation required for growth.
The innate powers that an efficient and effective leader must possess are;
- The Power to Accommodate: It is the ability to adjust to the other person or situation, with the consciousness of creating benefit from each opportunity. It provides the ability of not being affected by negativity. It taps the wisdom to perceive exactly what a person or situation requires. A leader has the ability to adapt or the power to accommodate. Flexibility and the ability to adapt is the strength that helps the leader to reach his goals. A river finds its way through the landscape and reaches the ocean despite many obstacles along the way. In the same way, flexibility in a leader is the ability to adjust to many different personalities and situations he or she faces in the process of reaching his /her goal. The more flexible the leader , the better will be his capability to accept pressure. A leader needs to have the maturity as to where to adapt and when to adapt.
- The Power to Discern: This helps in distinguishing the real truth from the apparent truth, between things of temporary value and those of eternal value. This power helps to identify the fault lines and illusions. This ability is absolutely crucial for a leader who is taking decisions for so many others to follow. If he lacks discerning power and chooses the wrong path, the consequences may be hard hit. Discerning power means that you build up a very good assessment system. Knowledge and wisdom enable one to take accurate decisions
- The Power to Face or Tolerate: All the uncertainties, complexities and contradictions require lot of tolerance. A leader has a high level of tolerance. Tolerance is the ability to work in very demanding situations, where there is a lot of turbulence and high pressure. A leader has to handle many different situations simultaneously and to accept considerable feedback. He has to take major decisions and take responsibility of those decisions. Tolerance means to give one’s best up to the very end. It gives the courage and confidence to deal with any situation or person. Challenges are rather perceived as steppingstones to learn deeper lessons of life. The leader has to have the power to face as he carries the main responsibility. The implication of decision making is to take up the responsibility.
- The Power to Judge: One of the major tasks of a manager is decision making. He is constantly in situations where he has to judge . Discrimination for correct decisions is like correct investigation for right judgment. A manager has to make judgments at many instances for which he should have a good eye for discerning between the right and wrong, benefit and loss. This helps to assess any situation accurately with clarity and precision, with a detached, impartial and fair approach.
- The Power to Pack-up: This is the ability to set aside all wasteful thoughts so there is lightness and freedom from burdens and worries. Though there may be many responsibilities, we cease to equate them with worry. By going deep into the self, our preoccupations with limited external activities are packed up for that period.
- The Power to withdraw: It is the power to detach the mind from the negative situation while maintaining full awareness. To withdraw this way allows us to observe the scene with n objective perspective.