The following ten best leadership practices should assist any aspiring or current leader to become the best that you can be. Utilize the tips wisely and ponder each as a lot of thought and experience has gone into it…
- Know who you are.
- Determine your purpose in life.
- Education and skills development is the foundation. Sharpen your saw…
- Gain as much experience as possible in as many areas as possible.
- Take it slow. No fast tracking and no appointments because of potential.
- Enroll for a self-leadership course and implement for at least a year.
- Enroll for a fully fledged leadership development course. Management skills should be in place at this time.
- Teach others and share what you have learnt.
- Practice a good measure of EQ and learn to laugh at yourself.
- Remember to have lots of fun while living your life.
Swami Parthasarathy offered a message to aspirant leaders with regard to desired leadership practices in the Sunday Times on 26 June 2011. He offered the following advice to the youngsters:
- · The essence of leadership – A leader is a person you can look up to and follow
- · A powerful intellect – The ability to think freely and logically
- · An organisational ideal – This relates to the vision one should have for your organisation which should be followed with total commitment
- · Adequate knowledge – A leader should ensure that he/she has a thorough knowledge of his subject area
- · Service and sacrifice – Doing what you ought to do without any personal motives
- · Lead the way – A leader must tread the path for others to follow
- · Delegate – You can’t do it all. Allow opportunities for others to shine as well
- · Accessibility – Create true human moments by being accessible to all
- · Identification and empathy – Identify with the feelings of colleagues and build rapport through empathy
- · Team effectiveness – Consistency, concentration and co-operation are the keys to keep in mind
I recently also read Freakonomics written by Levitt & Dubner. They related a story of a young researcher who infiltrated a crack selling gang. A lot of information was shared with regard to the gang leader, his leadership style, gang dynamics and the business concept. The amazing thing is that most, if not all of the characteristics mentioned by the Swami and all the blog entries thus far, also apply to the gangs and people we call criminals.
What am I saying? Simply this; leadership principles are common practice and apply to all leaders in society, no matter what your intent or motivation.
Our learning: We need to take a fresh look at criminals and also learn from them. At times they set a better example in terms of loyalty, commitment, team work, dedication and results than our democratically elected leaders in society who act out of self-interest.
When you get to work today and you have to deal with followers or other leaders, what do you see? Do you see people or do you see the collection of experiences they have had?
Unfortunately we do not deal with simple resources to accomplish a pre-determined ends when we talk about people. If only life was this easy!
We recently had the honour of facilitating a self-leadership development course and the lessons we were offered were huge and very valuable. Whenever we meet people we know that there is far more than meets the eye. People carry such a variety of pleasurable and painful experiences in their lives while doing this in absolute silence.
Breaking this silence is often the most liberating deed that anyone can ever dream to undertake. It takes great skill to help people to get to the point where they can safely share that which holds them captive in life. The change is absolutely remarkable! The day of sharing is very emotional and daunting for most but when you see them the following day and they glow anew with love and light, you know, the healing has started. What a blessing.
When you see people today, I would like to urge you to see the collection of experiences which makes that person. Is it possible that the person standing in front of you may have experienced any of the following?
- · An abusive spouse
- · Abusive parents stripping the child of its last bit of self-esteem
- · Multiple rapes
- · Teenage pregnancies
- · Being shot by another
- · Divorce
- · Rejection
- · Being abandoned and adopted
- · Drug abuse
- · Alcohol abuse
Such is life… and this is what we are made of…
Sometimes we look at people and we think that they have it all made. WOW! How wrong we are. Sometimes, most of the time, the people you think have all their stuff together don’t either. At times they too have to face very difficult circumstances and have to find the strength to stand and lead others while their own hearts are being torn to pieces. Can you imagine what they may be dealing with?
Our learning: Full appreciation and empathy for the person trying to do their best when at times life can seem too much to deal with. Know that we do not know. Learn to give people the benefit of the doubt and get to know the people with all sincerity and being an example of vulnerability yourself. Being a leader has never been easy and perhaps the child or adult you have to work with is not being difficult but perhaps is finding the experiences just too daunting to even think of…
Dear leader, your real problem is not always the people working for you but rather their marriage, relationships, family, children, in-laws, spending habits, etc.
This reality will put your skills to the test whether you like it not, whether you have the skills or not.
How true. You didn’t ask for it but if you recently accepted the role of leader in an organization, you will soon find out that you also received the title of personal counselor for your staff. They will inevitably knock on your door for some advice or guidance. This is providing that you are accessible of course. It is however not an option for you to opt out of this role by becoming the most miserable person on earth who is feared and avoided by all.
My suggestion to you is to accept this role sooner rather than later. If you lack the skills to do so it would be advisable to consider a short course in counseling.
Whatever you do; DO NOT PANIC!
Some tips and advice to consider as you step into the unknown:
- · You are not a qualified councilor and not expected to be.
- · Always listen with intention and attention.
- · Ask hard and challenging questions. A wise counselor will guide others with the right questions to make personal discoveries and not provide the answers for them.
- · Remember, the real story is the untold story. People are like onions, layer upon layer.
- · Consider appointing a life-coach to assist you with such matters.
- · Happy staff members are productive staff members.
Remember when you had to discuss a problem with someone? Who did you choose to share it with? Why did you choose that individual? What made it a successful coaching experience? Reflect and apply your experience and personal knowledge.
Our learning: Being a leader takes more than just focusing on results. Know your tools, value your staff and they will bring you success.
Future leaders unpack what leadership will look like in a few years…TIME FOR LEADERS TO SIT UP AND LISTEN!
I am blessed to be involved with the facilitation of a leadership development programme at an international university in South Africa. Have met the most amazing students and I have personally learnt so much from these young souls.
If these students reflect the face of future leadership, then I am the most optimistic WHITE AFRICAN in Africa today!
The students’ leadership insight was put to the test and they were asked to reflect on what superior leadership qualities they themselves would like to espouse later in life. The results were outstanding! But do not believe me; let us take a look at what they had to say…
- Ø Life without purpose is a waste of time. You need a reason to want to get up early in the morning each day and chase after a dream
- Ø Develop the ability to think for yourself
- Ø Choose daily to do whatever you need to, to move forward.
- Ø Goal setting is crucial and I have a mindset to follow my own plans and dreams. Too many people do not follow their own plans so they end up embarking on other people’s journeys while forgetting about their own
- Ø Be selective of the people you let in to your life. Choose people who will help you grow to become the best you can be
- Ø Serve and meet the needs of others
- Ø Build trust and help people to reach their full potential
- Ø Give employees the option to tackle issues their own way
- Ø Employees should be directly involved in decision making
- Ø Allow employees to be creative. It is their right to be
- Ø Leave the responsibility where it ought to be. With the employees
- Ø Leaders must take full responsibility for their decisions
- Ø Focus on the possibilities of the future rather than the mistakes of the past
- Ø Always take the time to discover yourself even more
- Ø Find out what you are wired for and do that
- Ø Celebrate each and every day
- Ø Authenticity is vital for any leader
- Ø With transparency as the foundation for a relationship, trust will follow
- Ø Lead with enough love for the whole world
- Ø Love is perhaps the smallest thing in the world, yet it is the BIGGEST
A special word of thanks to Sedi, Ologe, Chimwemwe, Chido, Nasreen, Edith and Roy for their input in making tomorrow a better place for all.
Life is strange at times is it
not? Sometimes it makes perfect
sense and at other times we are lost for words, not having an inkling of an
idea how to deal with this experience.
we are on top of our game and are excited about living and then the negative entity in us wakes up and jerk
us back to reality letting us know that we are not in control and that we still
need to learn lots. These experiences are less than fun and often a visit to
the dentist would be more bearable, not so?
received very wise words of wisdom from one of the geniuses my life telling me
that we rely toooo much on our brain
power and too little on our hearts. We need to listen, reason and act on
that which is inspired in our hearts. Perhaps the brain is not the organ and
tool we should be using to lead our lives. Perhaps it is time to wake up to the power beating in our chests
and to listen to the inspiration we hear directly from the heart.
The problem is that we are not even aware of
the hearts beating in our chests let alone the power it carries and the
messages it tries to convey to us. What if this is our direct connection with
our Maker? What if we could get in touch with it and act on its impulses?
you feel your heart beat in your chest?
you hear the beat of your heart right in your chest?
is it that some people hear it?
How is it that we do not?
illustrate this point I urge you to follow this link to a very short video clip
illustrating the message: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5kBqrHphjo
it is time for us to meditate and
become aware of what is going on in us.
Our learning: Fear not, for fear is the only darkness keeping us from living lives with
meaning and from living in the moment