In Leadership we trust
There is a story about a young boy in India who had become addicted and obsessed with eating sugar.
His mother decided to visit the great Mahatma Gandhi to seek assistance and ask for guidance.
Facing the great spiritual leader, she asked him to tell her son to stop eating sugar. The motivation was simple : it was not good for his health.
Gandhi listened carefully and replied: “I cannot tell him that. But you may bring him back in a few weeks and then I will talk to him”
The mother was confused but did as Gandhi told her to. She took her boy back and returned after two weeks.
This time Gandhi looked directly at the boy and said: ”Boy, you should stop eating sugar. It is not good for your health”
The boy nodded his head and promised he would not continue this habit any longer. The boy’s mother was puzzled.
She asked in amazement: “Why didn’t you tell him that two weeks ago when I brought him here to see you?”
Gandhi smiled and said: “Mother, two weeks ago I was eating a lot of sugar myself”
Here we have the greatest Leadership lesson of all times – integrity and actions based on the power of example. Gandhi lived in such virtue that he would not allow himself to give advice unless he was sure he was doing the same.
How many of those who consider themselves Leaders do the same? For authority stands in an exemplary character and the power of example.
It seems that nowadays, leaders are an endangered species and all we are left with are the common “bosses” who use words like “I” and “You” instead of “Us” and “Team”.
What makes a good leader and separates him/her from a simple boss?
- A leader makes you feel safe – creating a circle of trust is not easy and people who do that take on great responsibility. Only a gifted leader would not make an employee feel frightened about making a mistake. The important thing is to learn from your flaws, try again and reach perfection;
- A leader inspires – the secret stands in the leader’s actions: if they are well thought, if they have a positive impact for those around him and are born for common good, then they inspire others around him to do the same, to follow the same guidance and give something in return. Their actions must work as a source of inspiration for others: to do more, to dream more, to become more;
- A leader is authentic – he/she will never try and pretend to be something he/she is not. Employees can tell if someone is not sincere and that will only rise questions about how much integrity does that person really have. If they have built an image based on lies and deceive that will only lead to mistrust and bad behavior: “Why should I follow him? What good of an example is he to me?”
- A leader knows he does not know everything – continuous learning is key. And good leaders know that: they are always on the lookout for ways to learn more, from their businesses, from their employees, from their family and friends. It’s the experiences of those around them that may contribute to the success of the team and it’s by knowing your close ones well that you can truly understand what they are going through and come meet them half way;
- A leader knows when to let go – many think that leadership is about control. In fact, great leaders inspire and know when to get out of the way. They will never close roads for their employees, but do their best to make them successful! Leadership is about guidance and support, not control!
- A leader partners with people – it’s a win- win situation really: a fruitful partnership between the leader and his valuable employees. A gifted leader will invest as much as they can in their people, even if this means that they will finally leave their company. That is of little importance. The most valuable thing is to shape great characters and leave your legacy behind.
Some words weight more than others. “Leadership” speaks for itself:
Have you ever met a true Leader?
Author: Daria Ionescu