What is Leadership? – Mystery resolved (Partly)

I first came across this word called ‘Leadership’ when I was in class five. My class teacher remarked in a parent teacher meeting that I lacked leadership skills. Starting that day I was in search of the meaning of the word called leadership and guess what my search still goes on…

Having said that, I have few insights on what leadership is? How to be a leader? What things can you do to be a leader? Believe me, all those who say, “Leaders are born and not made” are bummers. They do not realize the fact that learning is possible and human mind is capable of achieving everything.

1) Trust yourself, have faith in your abilities

Trust your abilities, just like he did.

Leadership is a state of the mind. First and foremost thing one needs to believe is he/she is a leader. It all starts here my friend that is in the mind. You also need to understand that mistakes happen. Failure is definite on the path to success.As Swami Vivekananda said, (and I’ll quote) “If you are walking on the path and not facing any troubles, you are certainly travelling on wrong path”.

The idea is to learn and learn as quickly as possible. A leader is the one who learns from his mistakes and makes sure the same does not occur again. Ask Sourav Ganguly(one of the great Indian captains), how many mistakes has he done, how quickly has he learned and corrected them.


2) Accept your mistakes

Which button would you select?

One very important trait of a leader is that you accept your mistakes. Yes, for starter, such as in early part of your career or in school you may lose ground on other people, but in the long run accepting your mistakes will enable you to improve considerably. Accepting your mistakes portrays the fact that you understand where you went wrong and how will you overcome the problem .

3) Leadership = Sharing

In management parlance, this type of the leadership is called leadership by delegation. It is quintessential for a leader to share his/her responsibilities.

One cannot do everything alone. Mr Murthy(founder of Infosys) could not have made Infosys a huge success alone. He had Mr Nilekani, Mr. Shibulal, Mr. Gopalakrishnan and others to start the venture. Later, he had many more exceptional people on board who took the company to newer heights.

In early days at school, a person who is a monitor is considered to be a leader but he is not because at such an early age one is only learning. Yes, it is true that few people learn quickly and few take time. At the end of the term a monitor may or may not be successful but he sure is successful in learning.

4) Leaders lead by example

This is a cliché. Most if not all of you would have heard the above statement. What we do not understand is, a leader may also be required to clean shit. Mahatma Gandhi literally cleaned shit. He showed people that he is not only there to talk and advice but also there to do it. So get dirty, get down to business and start to lead as early as possible.

5) Leaders are not always at the forefront

One may not be the face of everything be it running a political party, leading a cricket team, CEO of fortune 500 company, etc. All of you must have seen the movie called ‘Rajneeti’ and I will give no prizes for guessing who the real leader was. Yes, Nana Patekar was running the show and everyone else was just a puppet in his hand. A similar situation exists in our country today but we will leave that discussion for some other day.

The point, I want to make is do not strive to be the face of the task just put your brains into completing the same to the best of your abilities. Eventually you will be recognised.

The idea of writing this article was to enunciate the definition of leadership. I am sure that I have not made all the points as you all are aware that I am still searching for the complete definition. I believe that nobody is a leader and everybody is a leader. It is confusing, right and so am I . Let’s say the article is open for discussion and you all may pour in your points and sooner rather than later we will find the complete definition.

Before I end this article, I would like to tell you about few characteristics (you all must have heard these, but just to corroborate) of a leader via a leadership model (which can be expanded in the comments section)

L – Loyal; Learned; Logical;

E – Energetic, Eloquent; Enthusiastic

A – Ambitious; Articulate; Accessible

D – Determined; Dependable; Decisive

E – Earnest; Eternal;

R – Responsible, Reliable; Righteous

S – Skill full; Savant; Spiritual

H – Honest; Humane; Humble

I – Intelligent; Inspiring; Imaginative

P – Patient; Persuasive; Powerful


Thanks every one for reaching this point. I hope this article helped. I am looking forward to read some of your views.






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