Leadership Development

Leadership- The subtle art of transforming and inspiring

We, as individuals, are completely aware of people who are born with the attributes of a leader; setting the tone, calling the shots, leading by example and inspiring people around to help them achieve their goals. On the flipside, there’s a majority, that pines to imbibe the qualities of a leader. Such is the air about leadership!

All great coaches, captains and managers are primarily good leaders and that’s exactly what makes them really good, at whatever they do. On a personal front, we believe, that a leader is someone, who foresees and visualizes, what is invisible to others. Illustrious individuals, the likes of Sir Alex Fergusson, Sir John Whitmore, Timothy Galleway have not only led the revolution, but have left an indelible mark and paved a way, for the others to follow.

So, what is that, which differentiates a leader from any other individual! Whilst most of us might dwell upon the idea of acquiring the traits of all good leaders, it is their style of leading their group, that has maximum bearing. The article talks about the different styles of leadership and its impact, across industries:

Egocentric Leadership:

This style of leadership, mostly deals with one’s own benefits and interests. It’s a stage where as humans, we are more concerned with our demands and needs being met. The egocentric style of leadership never takes into account the effect our behavioral pattern, tends to have on others around us. Thus, the effectiveness of this style of leadership, is not only limited but, to an extent, unwanted after a certain point, as we climb the rungs of a ladder. In order to make this style of leadership, a tad more efficacious, the there has to be a cultural shift from being self-conscious to defining our relationship with others around us.

Reactive Leadership:

According to a recent survey, around 70-80% of leaders, fall under this category. This is then further classified into three categories, namely the ‘Heart type’, ‘The Will type’ and the ‘Head type.’ While the ‘Heart type’ generally cultivates its core around people loving and accepting them, ‘The Will Type’ generally deals more in triumphing over others and achieving desirable results. Highly different from the above two is ‘The Head Type.’ These group of leaders generally build their character around robust ideals and principles, such as selflessness and will-power. Such leaders often remain unruffled, regardless of what is happening around them.

Creative Leadership:

It’s a shift in paradigm, for people moving from the Reactive style of leadership to Creative Leadership. All creative leaders tend to create an environment so conducive, that finally makes way for creativity, productivity along with entailing the idea of cooperative working. Even when everything around them is changing, these creative leaders can vividly see a clarity of purpose. The job of such leaders is not only limited to fostering creativity but it also entails several other important functions such as integrating, facilitating and directing.

Integral Leadership:

Pioneered by James Scouler, the leadership is a shared form of leadership, that aims at binding the other important and singular aspects of an organization. This type of leadership aims at addressing and solving issues, that cannot be tackled by an individual. It also synthesizes everything that we know about science and the practice of leadership, in a unified field. Least to say, the integrative form of leadership is a classic example of a leadership that we require in the 21st century. Great leaders, who fall into this category tend to go beyond involving great minds and ideas. The South American reform of the 60s is the highlight of such show of leadership.  

The Cuban revolution of the 60s was fortunate to have a revolutionary in Che Guvera, who alongside Fidel Castro, brought down the façade of capitalism in South America. A revolutionary, physician, author, diplomat, and a guerilla leader; Che Guvera stood for his people, when it mattered the most. From being radicalized by the agents of death in South America to crushing the Batista regime to becoming the ‘countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia in popular culture; Che Guvera saw it all! Talking about great leaders? There’s your diamond in the rough!

Unitive Leadership:

The term ‘Unitive’ denotes the idea of ‘tending towards unity’. However, it not only signifies bringing unity within an organization, but also stands for unifying one’s thoughts and actions. It talks about bringing unity at a global level, rather than being obsessed about individual thoughts, actions and identity. Although the idea of Unitive leadership thrives on the idea of oneness, it by no means, signifies detachment from the outer world. All great leaders, who fall in this category, are global visionaries, who come together, for a greater good. It is only from the presumption of the inherent indivisibility of all things that these leaders find the solutions, on a planetary scale, to our current predicaments. They believe that the ecosystem is a human body and that the world, is only one family. 

Talking of visionaries, Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam Azad is the first name, that comes to mind. A nuclear scientist par excellence, it was Dr. Kalam’s vision that took India to space. While some say that he had rockets in his DNA, it was his vista of making India a virtuous nation, that made his fellow countrymen, love and respect him, even more! It is not everyday that visionaries like Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam Azad are born and India was indeed privileged to have such great men , humbly serving the nation.

So, what does it take to be a great leader?

This long journey towards greater responsibility could begin with doing simpler things in life with immense joy and passion! Taking your first swimming lesson, reading a book you’d always wanted to, cooking for your family or even strolling in a park, whilst you enjoy the pastel sunset; it could be anything under the sun that makes you look forward to in in life. All great contemporary leaders have always had one thing in common. It’s their quest for the zest of life, that has kept them going; day through day! As the famous maxim goes, “The journey of a leader, is the journey of a lifetime”.

The road ahead …

Calculated risk takings, generally pays huge dividends. The times that we currently live in, has equal amount of reward and peril, on offer. What as leaders, we do now, will seal the deal for the next 30 years. In times such as these, we could either spearhead an era of revolution or simply succumb to the lesser realities of life. The generations to come will either remember us the ones who brought in the winds of change or the ones who made way for self-destruction. The choice, is completely ours! Thus, the evolution of effective leaders is not only a business prerequisite anymore, but, with the passage of time, has become a global necessity.

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