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What it takes to be “The” Leader?

What is it that takes to be “The” leader? The world has pondered over this question since time immemorial. While pondering, we have also scrutinized and analysed the leaders that have existed. We love to criticize them and always hold onto the thought that we would turn out to be better leaders than our present leaders.

Think about it, doesn't everyone want to be a leader at least once? Unfortunately, we work under the impression that we are / will be good leaders. Because, this is fuelled by our own “idea” of what a good leader is.

So, how do you find out if your “idea” is synonymous to the world’s idea? Well, we have highlighted 5 major skills or competencies that are the markings of a good leader.

Shared Leadership

Being a leader is so much more than leading a team to achieve their goals. As a leader, your job is to know your organization’s vision and mission and constantly drive it within the team. To be a leader who is result oriented or profit oriented, you need to be able to connect with your team and counterparts at a personal level. You need to synergize partnerships with your stakeholders and most importantly, your customers. If you can create a bond with your customers then you can drive your team to please the customers as well. Being a leader is perceived as a solitary task and it sometimes is. However, a good leader will always bring people in together and then act rather than dictate what needs to be done. The central idea is be the leader who is a good follower.

Self Discovery

Who likes a leader who doesn't lead by example? It’s an age old wisdom that is often spoken but the meaning has become redundant. A leader is good only if s/he “Walks the Talks”. Live by your principles and preach them. Only then, will you have a team in sync with you. Be aware of your strengths and weakness. A leader is admired and respected if s/he accepts their limitations. Humility is a good trait to have in a leader. Be humble enough to open yourself up to learning new methods, but, always have passion to be the best. The key is to be humble and passionate which the team then perceives as approachable.

Supports People Development

Be a leader for the people. Easier said than done! Good leaders have good teams. Be a coach and mentor to your team. Empower by giving the space to explore and express. Demand excellence and motivate your team to constantly achieve more. However, in the end, be the leader who realizes that his or her team is humane and have issues far larger than work, as that’s the leader who is voted as the “best boss of the year”.

Strives for Results

All the talk about being people oriented and discovering oneself is moot if you can’t drive results. It’s your task to set goals and find solutions. It’s your responsibility to make decisions and execute them well. A leader is like the captain of a ship, s/he needs to set a course, foresee problems and calamities and re – route the path accordingly. Lastly, deliver quality while meeting quantity. History proves that, a team that has delivered qualitative and quantitative results are valued more than teams with quantitative results only.

Strategic Innovation

Lastly, be a leader who lives, breathes and drives change. Don’t be the person who is comfortable with a system, so settles in and gets old living it. Be the change or be the one to help change. To state the cliché, change is the only permanent in life. You, as the leader, need to not only invite innovative ideas but also help your team to come up with ways to implement them.

In the end, be the captain who is approachable, humble, result oriented and drives change. To be an exceptional leader, use these 5 skills in tandem and you will have solutions to all problems you might face. Being a leader is easy, but being ‘The’ leader makes your team and you reach new heights.

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