So what i wanted to talk is about my experience with the so called concept of “Leadership” especially within the context of our day to day company jobs. What i have observed is whenever people talk about leadership, mostly they are so obsessed with the external components of leadership, that i think they miss out on the core ones. I think people go by the bookish meaning of a leader who is a visionary, who leads from the front, who is confident, who is clear headed blah blah blah. But apart from these skills, i think the core ones are integrity, empathy, being able to deal with uncertainty and confusion, being able to be fair-headed in the situation of failure, having strong core values which are non shake-able at any cost, being honest. I think instead of externally learning about leadership and trying to copy what is mentioned in a so called leadership books, if these core values are practiced from the core of heart, everyone would be a leader in true sense.
I hear a lot about many companies following leadership culture and employees from those companies talking very big about it. But in practice what i have seen in my experience is that very few people truly understand what leadership means (not that i too have understood it clearly and fully but i am sure now what leadership isn’t at least) and rest others just try to put the pseudo layer of leadership on top of their personality to show the world that they too are like leaders.
To support this i have many such experiences from the company that I have worked with earlier in my career, which is an IT behemoth which harps a lot on leadership. But after i have worked in it, i surely can say that none of the so called leaders there were truly leaders whom i can follow. Maybe i got the wrong end of the stick for the time i was working there, but for the time that i was in (which was long enough to find one :)) i didn’t spot any. The reason to write about it with such intensity today is, i think there is something wrong in the way leadership is being perceived in these kinds of companies. The culture in these companies is always about directing work not about working together, it is always about junior-senior not about work peers, it is always about the blame game and not about problem solving, it is always about being cold and not about being empathetic, it is always about being low on emotions and more about being shrewd. I think thats the core reason why tyrants are manufactured under the guise of so called leadership in these companies.
I think leadership is a trait which just comes out naturally if you are true to your heart, empathetic and if you “really” have the knowledge of the field in which you are working. The other leadership traits which automatically comes if these three things are in place are, you become confident as you know the core of the field in which you work, you become a visionary as you can then think of where to apply the knowledge that you have learnt, you become more humble as you know that, with knowledge comes understanding / wisdom, with understanding and wisdom comes problem solving and a positive attitude, with all this you ultimately become more passionate about the work and life overall and then that energy transpires in the surroundings around you like an invisible aura to which then people attract and start to like, follow you and then you ultimately become a leader. The journey to become a leader is not from outside, its the journey from within. What is happening instead is people are concentrating on the outer layer of leadership. People are focusing on becoming a visionary without the basics being right, people are trying to be confident by just showing off externally, people are trying to show off the oratory skills and think that they are great leaders just because we always keep on hearing that great leaders have great oratory skills. I partly agree to it. I think oratory skills are important but before that the words that you utter should not only be confident but true, full of integrity and not just a pure show off. I think once you speak your heart, the words that come out of your mouth will be confident to the core and for that you need not be artificially confident. I think leadership is all about igniting that inner lamp of empathy, knowledge, courage and honesty, rest all follows and you become a leader in your eyes as well in the eyes of the world.