Lead by Example. Lead from the front. These are sayings that all of us have witnessed in social gatherings as well as our workplace environment. But how easy is it to be a Leader? Are individuals naturally born leaders or is it a skill that one can build over a period of time?

This write up would give you a sneak preview about why leadership is an attribute that makes all the difference in growth of an individual. Some are blessed having it as an inherent trait but for the others who need to build this skill – be prepared for the herculean task. Leadership will test your nerves and make you take decisions from the edge.

The dictionary states the meaning of the leader as the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country. Some other similar words to leader are Chief, Boss, Head or Captain.

A Leader is one who is always in-charge. One who drives control. Someone who takes the final decision and approves how things should be taken ahead. They are given power to be in command by their own people who surrender their faith and entrust them to bring outcomes which are in the best interest for everyone. In a way, a leader is one who has to have strong shoulders to bear the responsibility for many.

What does it take to become a Leader? If one is willing to take responsibilities and is good at decision making – are those enough ingredients to bestow them as leaders? Lets explore this further.

We come across the term Born Leaders. But do we believe in the term Groomed Leaders. While becoming a leader is a wish that many pursue but it’s a skill which needs ingredients, a bit too many. Amongst those many, let me highlight a few which are a must.

  • Listen – Filter – Absorb

Leaders master the art of listening. It helps them collating suggestions, filtering the unessential and absorbing what benefits in long term

  • Embrace Empathy

Leaders have to develop the ability to understand and share the feelings of people around them

  • Look adversity in the face

Leaders need to be resilient and fierce when battling unpleasant situations. Escape mechanism doesn’t work

  • Trust your Gut

Logical reasoning and analytical decisions are methodologies. Leaders should know that the process begins with trusting your gut

  • Don’t fear Failure

Leaders fail too. They enrich themselves with the experiences of their failed experiments and use it as a tool to carve their

future decisions

Lets take an example to see what makes a leader, how do leaders function and what keeps them at top of their game at all times.

In a nation of over a billion people, we certainly have a minority who would not know about cricket. 11 players on the field – playing for 20 or 50 odd overs – representing the country and a billion hopes for bringing the trophy home. Imagine that responsibility on a single shoulder – the captain. May it be Sachin Tendular, Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni or Virat Kohli – leaders with different styles – but the expectation and outcome from them is the same – Win the Championship. What makes them the leader they are is not only how they function, but also the numerous incorrect decisions that they take and learn from them to make the right moves going forth. They learn from failures. They strengthen themselves despite disappointing many and stepping back on the field not just with hope – but with determination to play with their best spirit again. They live through their own bouts of anxiety and fears but put their best masks on to motivate their team and making them perform beyond their ability. These Captains fail too and at times miserably fail. But one thing that they don’t know is how to give up. They find the silver linings, latch to it and find growth for their teams and success for their country. They are unique species who unintentionally disappoint many at times but still keep striving in the best interest of their tribe purely because they are visionaries who are constantly in search of a better tomorrow.

Leadership will test your strength of character and question your potential of doing the larger good. It will make you judge your ability of being the best in command authority who not only nurtures his own people but ensures growth for them across all parameters.

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