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Who Is A Leader?

A question I often get asked is, “who is a leader?” My answer is not as simple as stating who a leader is, rather I am happy to share my  learnings through The 5 Mantras a leader must explore to show up with.  

There has been much written about a leader’s attributes, and I, share here my experiences as a leader as I pen these thoughts for you to reflect on . 

The 5 LEADERSHIP MANTRAS based on my own learnings and experiences as a Global Leader having worked with multi-cultural teams ,leaders and entrepreneurs forms the basis of these “Mantras” I share here

  1. Leaders who WIN Never GIVE UP
  2. Leaders always LEAD by EXAMPLE
  3. Leaders who matter are AUTHENTIC
  4. Leaders understand VULNERABILITY is COURAGE
  5. Leaders always TRUST themselves & their TRIBE

In this article , we shall look at each of these “Matras”” in a bit more detail.

  1. Leaders who WIN Never GIVE UP , they Persist & are Resilient

Without persistence, it is challenging to achieve exceptional outcomes. If your hard work is not combined with persistence, you will fail when the going gets tough. A lack of persistence will mean that those you lead will not commit to the tasks you set them, and they will pay lip service to the instructions you give

Through persistence, you will inspire your people into action. They will understand that you are committed to seeing the task through, and they will get behind you. 

Without persistence, the whole idea loses significance. But, with it, success is inevitable. Leaders Never Give up

Some insights that may be of interest to observe and keep a look out for as a Leader who never gives up

  • Quitting takes away the only option to SUCCESS
  • Failure is a sign that you are TRYING
  • SUCCESS without failure is FLUKE
  • Leaders always Lead by Example

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world “ – Mahatma Gandhi

Leading by example should not involve creating a team of “mini-Me’s,” and you are misguided if you feel that this should be the outcome. Leading by example is more about taking the actions that inspire others to respond and behave in ways that are beneficial and appropriate to your group or organization’s values. Be your own self and lead and treat others the way you want to be treated.

Communication is critical to any situation, but often it is challenging to communicate the exact tone or nuance of the message you want to get across. Showing your people, rather than telling them, is often the best or only way to communicate something effectively. Leading by example removes any accusations of a ‘do as I say, as you are a choose to show up as a leader who is “Let’s GO” together onward and forward. 

“It is always show time for leaders” – Tom Peters

  • Stop telling & just start doing
  • Parents & Professionals both have to lead
  • Are you showing up as a PARENT LEADER

Leaders are not only at work place but at home to starting with parents, who need to show up as leaders who must stop just telling or comparing but acknowledge their kids for who they are and what to eb very much like everyone in your team is unique and gifted .

Leaders who matter are  Authentic

“Authenticity is when you say and do things that you truly believe in” – Simon Sinek

“Being authentic is about embracing your imperfections” – Simon Sinek

Authenticity is the foundation to build trust in relationships.

Authentic leadership inspires trust and respect in the leader. The Ancient Greeks considered authenticity to be of such importance that it allowed a leader to control their destiny. 

Being an authentic leader will not necessarily get people to agree with what you are telling them. What it will do is inspire them with the confidence that you are truthful and honest as you embrace and show up by BEING YOU &  you believe in the message you are communicating. Authentic leadership will ensure you have a safe, trustworthy and productive team that sticks through ups and downs in the long-term. 

My OWN BEING AUTHENTIC actions are driven by

– I Engage with compassion , honesty & sincerity my core values
– I Share & express original thoughts & ideas to impact one human at a time
– I accept who I am with all my gifts and limitations and trust that all people around me are the same too

What are yours ?

I encourage you to explore and think about your own actions

  • Leaders Understand that Vulnerability is Courage

“Vulnerability is the best measure of our courage” – Berne Brown

Taking responsibility is Vulnerability

The real meaning of vulnerability is “uncertainty risk and emotional exposure”
Willingness to show up and be seen when there are no guarantees is being vulnerable

“ … Only when we have the strength to show our vulnerability can we truly lead” – Simon Sinek

As leaders , Vulnerability is admitting a mistake , I am uncertain , I need help and need all of us to acknowledge we need each other starting with me ..

A leader who exposes themselves to uncertainty, risk, and emotional vulnerability demonstrates a level of courage that few are prepared to open themselves to. However, leaders understand that leadership and vulnerability go hand-in-hand. 

They understand this, and they still choose to lead. This understanding and acceptance of vulnerability is a display of inner strength and true courage.

Courage and vulnerability are inextricably linked, and it is the true leader who understands and accepts this.

  • Leaders always Trust Themselves and Their Tribe

“When we tell people to do their jobs , we get WORKERS. When we trust people to get the job done, we create LEADERS “ – Simon Sinek

“TRUST is the most critical competency for leaders” – Stephen M.R.Covey

Some pointers to think  about

  • TRUST always begins with YOU
  • TRUST is like water and air to life without which existence itself is a question
  • TRUST is a pragmatic measurable ASSET you can create by paying attention to TRUST
  • Grow TRUST intentionally and see how the culture of TRUST flourishes

Trust is a two-way process, a relationship between the trustee and the trustor. To be an effective leader, a trusting relationship must exist between you and your people. The leader, as the trustor, has the responsibility of taking risks and making decisions. As a trustee, you have the role of being trustworthy. 

In either role, the leader needs to establish and maintain the bond between both to be effective in leadership. A leader who seeks only to be trusted but not trust their people will witness leadership failure. 

In Summary

The question “who is a leader?” suggests that only specific people can lead.

My 5 mantras are based more along the lines that  anyone who is self- committed, can lead, and it is by following certain principles and showing up with these “mantras” acts as a guiding light in the journey of leaders who are life-long learners.

Leaders are everywhere as Business Heads, Co Workers, CXO’s , Parents, Friends, & Partners. What is important is how do we all show up and live the principles of leadership or the “mantras” to be effective leaders. 

I hope you enjoyed reading through this article which is part of my effort to demystify jargon and allow humans to become better leaders and leaders to become better humans.

You can follow me on LI on #LeadershipSimplifiedByRajiv

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