Sahara Care House, November, 2009
Every child, every person, looks up to someone, somewhere deep inside wants to be like him/her, tries emulating his/her mannerisms, style, way of working …..
I will be a pilot one day, says a child; I will be a teacher, I will become a doctor ….. says another and another. Something in the role model strikes as being worth doing and achieving and more so worth ‘becoming’.
Surinder (Suri) Sahni (played by Shahrukh Khan), in the recent Rab ne banadi jodi (RNBJ), transforms himself into Raj !! His wife Tania (Taniji) loves dancing. She looks for a partner in her dance classes and the imagery of ‘Raj” (played by Shahrukh in various movies), dominates her mind. Ordinary looking, Surinder (Suri) Sahni, an employee with Punjab Power, dons a different look of a flamboyant, flashy, outgoing ‘Raj’, to be able to spend time with and to gain acceptance from Taniji; to be close to her, to be able to be her dance partner, to be able to get her love, to be able to build a family with her. The story goes through its own Bollywood twists and turns, but finally Taniiji prefers Surinder Suri over Raj. Genuineness prevails. ‘Trueness’ of intentions wins over a ‘borrowed’ style !!
Each one of us IS a Leader ….. A Leader to someone !! To our children, to our family, to our customers, to a sports team, to our subordinates ….. There is NO choice here. As much as we aspire to be someone, or to be like someone, the ones we are Leaders to, may also be aspiring to be like us. To have a role model is like having a source of energy, an unseen power guiding us towards a direction. Needless to say, a very positive energy at that !! While there is NO choice ….. each one of us is a Leader to someone ….. the only choice is ‘What kind of a Leader I want to be !?’
That is where, I guess, the choice to be genuine and true to one’s nature and style comes up as being important. A borrowed and ‘put on’ style is seen through very easily. Not only that, is comfortable with one’s own style. In the movie RNBJ, Surinder Suri’s discomfort in a copied style and attire, is depicted quite well in his attempt to ‘adjust’ his undergarments under the uncomfortably tight trousers. The style gets shattered there and then.
A Leader cannot be different people at different times. It is not possible to separate who you are as a person from who you are as a Leader.
Also, this notion of Leaders being ‘charismatic’ has been debated endlessly. There are many cases of organisational successes with Leaders who were NEVER known. Their organisations’ results and performances were what got known. These Leaders remained in the background, unseen, but led their organisatons very effectively for sure. Over a period of time, they were replaced by others and the organisation continued to work very effectively after them too. That is what matters ….. their work, their creation of an organisation that continues to perform effectively even without them. There are also, however, cases of very charismatic Leaders, who dominated the show all over, but without high performing organisations. Not to say that there is a clear ‘negative correlation’ here, but a ‘causal’ relationship definitely does NOT seem to be existing.
Can one be a Leader about whom someone says ‘I know of a Leader, in whom there is a deep burning passion for his work’ or ‘I know of a Leader in whom Integrity is fully alive’ or ‘I know of a Leader in whom compassion, respect, equality and empathy thrive’ ….. !?
Leadership is a vast and wide topic. Fundamentally, a Leader has to provide an environment conducive to the flowering and fulfilment of the potential of those who follow him/her. Leadership is like an energy flow, an influence effortlessly leading those who choose to follow, towards a rewarding, desired and aspirational future state of being. There are traits and traits being talked about and listed. A listing of all these will probably require someone more than a ‘Superman’ to qualify.
However, the fact is that a Leader need not be a Superman. He/she can be you and me !! An ordinary human being can be groomed, developed and polished. It requires effort and intention though. Leadership is not a ‘skill’ to be picked up and to get ‘trained in’. It is an experiential and spiritual ‘state of being’ !! A Leader can make mistakes. A Leader can ‘trip and fall’. A Leader can ‘stammer’. A Leader can change his/her mind. These faults don’t ‘lessen’ a Leader. If at all, with a ‘Genuine State of Guiding Energy Flow, truly taking those who choose to follow, to their desired states of being through a complementary Rythmic Dance’ the seeds of a True Leader can take root in anyone, no matter how ordinary, who has strong and true intentions.
Most importantly ….. A Leader chooses to Follow, because he has to be A Leader to his Followers
Be One !!
10 Leadership Tips :
- •L : Listen, Listen, Listen
- •E : Set an Example
- •A : Build a Positive Attitude
- •D : Develop Others
- •E : Have Empathy
- •R : Respect Others
- •S : Build Self Control and Service Orientation
- •H : Be Humble
- •I : Have Unquestionable Integrity
- •P : Be Passionate
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