WHO IS A TRUE LEADER?

MY OPINION 

By Samir Harawa

It is by human nature that we desire to succeed and attain a sense of fulfilment. Unfortunately, an even greater number of those don’t know what success is all about and therefore don’t know where to look for it.

As Earl Nightingale stated, “Success is nothing more than the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” This simply means any person who knows what he’s doing and where he’s going, is successful. From that illustration, we can tell that to get it happening requires to have a realization of some cause, it will need our lives to be shaped in a way that we expose ourselves to leaders who will give us the right cues to experience our full potential and get the reward which is a feeling of fulfilment.

In our daily living, most of us are limited to the status quo, believing what is normal for other people around us and in most cases the ones holding higher positions is also normal for us.  We do not really put much attention to check our references and evaluate them, but rather we just get to follow them. For instance, with the scarcity of jobs and platforms for start-ups in the country, the odds are about ninety percent that most of our first jobs are taken as a result of random application. And you will find that on the job without giving it a thought, the most natural thing we do is to just follow the pattern of how the other guys are doing their job and begin doing ours the same way. This drags down development especially when on higher positions we have people who just hold the titles but are not leaders.

And talking of leadership. How do we define a leader? Is our superior at our workplace a leader? Can one be a boss without being a leader?

In his book, Spirit of Leadership, Myles Munroe states that “there are those who believe that the title makes the leader.” However, he continued to write, “we have all seen in many occasions that many people who have been placed in prominent positions with impressive titles yet have failed miserably because they haven’t understood that real leadership is clearly revealed in performance and results and not just in labels.”

The world has been vastly corrupted on the confusion between a leader, and a boss so much that a fair number of people will interchangeably define leadership with a position. This is what is creating leadership vacuum in our respective societies.

Regardless of a rank or a title, all human beings possess the leadership nature, but it is only those who capture that quality of leadership within them ever become truly effective leaders. As defined by Simon Sinek, leadership has to do with whether others are free willing to follow and go in the direction that you set without using force or money manipulation. There is no greater need in our twenty-first century world than effective and competent leadership.

To truly understand this phenomenon of people feeling inspired to go to work and feeling safe when there, we have to take into account the work environment behaviour of most “bosses” as I may describe a higher position, are only concerned about numbers at the expense of people’s safety. This instils fear of losing a job in the workers which results in them just doing things even if they are neither motivated nor inspired by them. And they leave their homes, go to work, just because it puts food on the table. They are never really inspired and come back home frustrated because they’re not fulfilled with whatever they’re doing since it is more of just following suit and not exploring their inner potentials. At the end of the day, it is productivity curve that is negatively affected.

A true leader will inspire people around him/her to do the things that will motivate them and give them a reason to leave their home knowing they’re going to contribute to a greater cause than themselves. He is the one who can identify the keystone feature which unlocks the element in people to be more productive. Because he is aware that success as Charles Duhigg stated in his book The Power of Habit, does not only depend on doing every single thing right, but rather relies on identifying a few key priorities and fashioning them into powerful levers. I personally believe that a leader should be mainly concerned about people’s safety because when safety for the people is guaranteed, numbers will automatically increase.

The goal is not to focus on what’s standing in your way nor protecting our titles, but it is to take steps that will have positive and lasting effect on everyone in a society. It is to provide a conducive environment where people will be able to work and feel safe, where they will be able to apply their full abilities within the realms of the department without fearing that the boss will shout at them. This will give them a sense that they’re a part of something greater.

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