Who Ought To Be The Boss?!

Many people in general, recruiting agencies, multinational companies, and big/small corporates have a misconception that leadership skills are only to be found in renowned management school graduates. [And] one who is not a product of a reputed B- schools are not deserving enough to be a leader. In fact, some even go on to believe that they are not even eligible to become leaders. Many of you, including me, would disagree and many might totally agree to this.

I feel management skill is in every human being. However, the percentage might differ. A great homemaker could become a CEO had he or she been working in a corporate. [And] one can clearly see their management skills by the way they manage their home. So, to say, only the management graduates can become good leaders is a misconception by many companies who hire managers just by the name of the college on their resumes. Though, this does not mean I am opposed to the idea of having a good education. People with decent educational backgrounds having years of experience can also be good leaders.

Mahadeo Havaji Bacche, a Parsi banker who started the much-talked-about supply chain – Mumbai Dabbalwallas, is one such example. This group is working for the last 120 years. It was started by Mahadeo Havaji Bachche in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh in 1890. He then moved to Mumbai and started this small food chain business. 

A manager working at the middle management level could be the next potential leader. It is all about the mentorship he is able to receive and the kind of leaders he comes across in his corporate journey. So many people have written so many articles about what are the main features or signs of a great leader. What are the skills or techniques to climb up that ladder?

If one has to identify the characteristics of a good leader. One might rank strategic thinking, clear communication, influencing power, people management, relationship building, and innovation right on the top of their list.

I read an interesting blog that mentioned that leadership is majorly about soft skills. Similarly, I also feel that a potential leader is a person who has these few basic traits listed below. He would then require that little push from his mentor and bingo! You are a leader because you created one! There is one simple reason as to why some people fail to become good leaders. [Because] they do not want to create leaders. They fear!

Let’s not go there. We can write another article on that, though. Compiling people’s experience as to how they have been quickly shoved aside when they once outshone and were about to get noticed.

Basic and essential traits required to become a good leader.

  • Integrity / Honesty: A person who is willing to take accountability and teach the same to his own team. Someone who does not fear when he is wrong. Someone who's not afraid to take responsibility. He is proudly admitting that he is not aware of some particular task or information and looks for an answer from his team member instead. It is possible that his team member knows more than him about a particular subject or topic. But that does not bother him. He is the kind of person who would maintain his integrity and stealing credits rarely crosses his mind.

  • Willingness to take risks: Someone who is not afraid of failures and change. He is willing to take the leap of faith and trust his team members if his opinion is not in accordance with the majority. “Leadership has been defined as the ability to hide your panic from others” –Lao Tzu

  • Ability to let go of the so-called power: I personally have seen many people in my career who are not willing to let go of the power or importance they have. I believe a leader should have both the ability and willingness to teach and mentor his team to become the next leader…without the fear of losing his importance. Your potential leader can spread his wings in the same organization or fly away to be that leader you saw in him. Unless they are groomed to take up the next level you will also not grow. That simple it is to understand. So, anyone who is able to create leaders is a leader in my opinion. If you can identify members in your team who are self-driven, you can groom them to become leaders and move up the ladder. [And] when you are ready to leave your current position is when you will reach the next level. Are you ready to give away your importance (read - power, attention)? When you do not care anymore and are not afraid to lose your importance is when you are free to move up the ladder.

  • Who can inculcate values in his team: Someone who can change the persona of his team for good and knows how to blend people can be a good potential leader. Every team has a mixture of people having different personas. Coming from different backgrounds, while growing up, they might have seen and experienced certain beliefs, morals, and standards, etc. Some of your team members maybe a little lazy, some workaholics, gossip mongers, and some may be introverts. Some may need that gentle push to do better. Some may need your attention as they might be the ones who might be spoiling the decorum of your team. By inculcating good values in your team members, you can expect success in the long run. You can identify a potential leader by the way his team treats him, the kind of bond or rapport he has with them. Someone who is able to generate business, from his team, in a rightful manner is a leader.

Till we meet again, 

Love ~ Sneha


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