So what does it take to be leader?
There are enough books on the shelves that promise to make you a great leader.
On LinkedIn, there are enough and more posts like “10 effective habits of a leader” etc.
There are articles that map lives of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and many others to drive home the point of how to be a leader.
Articles on how leadership is inherent or acquired skill.
But really, what does it take to be a leader?
Is it that you start an organisation (akin to “I have the bat, I will be the captain), naturally you will be the leader. You will hire people and they will look up to you since you own the business and own them.
You join an organisation and rise through the hierarchy basis your performance to the top spot. Keep in mind, you have been promoted to that leadership position purely because you were a performer. It is a given that you were performing because you were leading a team and made them perform. But the people who report to you, do they consider you a leader or they accept the fact that you are the boss? Will they follow you to hell and back? And if they do, are they doing it because they believe in YOU or have they tied their fortunes to your growth and hence they will do anything.
I am sure many of you will tell me that am wrong. Leaders are also the ones who have empathy, they care for the people “who work for them”, they have heart. Leaders lead by example… so on and so forth.
All this will just be a distinction between a dictator and a benevolent dictator.
It is all about leading and following. Leadership is always about being the alpha (no gender discrimination here) in the group. Being an alpha comes from the position you have. Plain and simple. You take on a position and get others to follow you.
It’s true in corporate world, in politics, in sports and even in relationships. So let’s just cut the bull@&*% and accept that you became a leader because you were better than others – your performance, your knowledge, your manipulation skills, your rhetoric, your ability to know the pulse of the people. It has nothing to do with inherent or acquired skills. You are leading because you WANT to. There is always a motive.
From kings to politicians to social activists to armies to sports captains, there has always been a desire to lead which helped them manipulate things in their favour.
I guess all this flies in the face of what people believe about leaders. Nobody becomes a leader even though he/she had no desire. (That’s a lot of…)
We lead because we want to. And we will do everything to attain that.
I haven’t ever read any of the so called leadership guides. I haven’t read or followed habits of a true leader. Guess I will never be a leader in the way world looks at it. I always called myself a benevolent dictator 🙂
And I am ok with that!