4 Leadership Principles

I like the book The Leader who had no title by Robin Sharma. While the principles stated are not anything new they still resonated with me and the fact is following the principles outlined can make a difference if adopted. Here are the major principles outlined in the book with my take on each

1.  You need no title to be a Leader: The best example of a leader who exemplifies this is Mahatma Gandhi. He didn’t have a title yet he created a compelling vision of liberation and trailed a blaze that freed a nation from the clutches of tyranny. Yes titles are important to create order but we truly don’t need a title to influence. Leadership is more about influence than position. It is a paradox but the less you care about title and concentrate on your excellence the titles automatically follow. As Margaret Thatcher said “Power is like being a lady... if you have to tell people you are, you aren't.” Commit to excellence, commit to your team and titles will be taken care.

2.  Turbulent times build great leaders: True leadership is exhibited in times of adversity and not when things are going well. It is absolutely true that when the going gets tough the tough get going. We need to welcome turbulence as we proceed on our leadership journey. There is always a benefit available in every adversity. Let’s face it we are all going to face unknown problems which can’t be forecast the only thing in our control is our response to adversity. As Victor Frankl said “They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms--to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

3.  The Deeper your Relationships the Stronger your leadership:  Business can be summed up in one word Relationships. If you want to succeed in the game of business your ability to get along with people is the most important skill. You need to love people and encourage them for you to be the best leader you are capable of. The way you communicate as a leader shows how much respect you have for people. People are your most important asset and how you treat them on a daily basis ultimately determines their loyalty to you as a leader. Your ability to work as part of a team is the other important quality as a leader. “Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you.” William Arthur Ward

4. To Be a Great Leader First Become a Great Person: This is a simple concept to understand and it starts with leading yourself. You can’t give people what you don’t possess. People don’t look at your words they only look at your deeds. Lead yourself to the heights and people will throng to your leadership and join the journey to scale heights that only very few have. Self-leadership means leading by example, taking care of your health, leading with balance in your life, showing commitment to your team, working like there is no tomorrow, playing hard, having a never say die spirit and showing life that you are ready to take on the world. "The first and best victory is to conquer self." Plato "You can never conquer the mountain. You can only conquer yourself." Jim Whittaker

Leadership is a choice and everyone of us has the potential to become a leader if we choose to do so. Leadership in my opinion involves thinking big, inspiring others to action and setting the example for others to follow.

The views expressed here are my own and do not represent my organization.



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