‘Be a leader’, ‘Hone your leadership skills’ etc are common jargons we hear in our day to day lives. It might not be a surprising fact for most of us that it is one of the hot selling topics in today’s world. It is the central theme of most of the self-help books and courses out there in the market. Again, I won’t be wrong to assume that all of us at some point or the other in our lives have made use of one of those books or courses. But have you ever asked yourself the question - ‘Who is a leader?’
Today I decided to ask myself the question. After musing over this for a long time, I came up with the following:-
A true leader should be someone who is capable of leading his team differently, as per the situation warrants. The first situation is when everything is going fine and the team is inching towards victory without major troubles. The true leader should then be ready to play the second fiddle to his teammates. He should let his teammates’ march ahead and let them collect the credits for their hard work.
The second situation is when things are not happening as per the plan and the team is facing hardships and is finding it difficult to advance towards its goal. The true leader should then lead the team from the front, guiding the teammates with expertise and skills, making use of his or her rich experience.
How many of the so-called-leaders-of-today fit this description? Does today’s management education help bring to life the true-leader lying dormant within us? Are there room for improvement? Let us contemplate this thought and aim at becoming the true leaders of tomorrow…
Following is the 30 second Speech by Bryan Dyson (CEO of Coca Cola, USA)
"Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them - Work, Family, Health, Friends and Spirit and you're keeping all of these in the Air.
You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back.
But the other four Balls - Family, Health, Friends and Spirit - are made of glass. If you drop one of these; they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it."
This is really apt for today's corporate life where 'Work-Life Balance' is (almost) non-existent.
Footnote: I know, upon speaking to many companies, that many of them are now starting to worry about 'Work-Life Balance'. Recently I spoke to a company's (one of the world's biggest consulting companies) top management, who told me that they have now incentive structures in place to prevent their employees from working over weekends. It was amazing to hear about it.
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