Written By: Dr. Amit Mishra
How to become a Highly Successful Leader
“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life-think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.”
In today’s modern cut-throat competition world, every person in business domain whether he/she is a Start-up business owner, CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of an MNC (Multi-National Companies), MD (Managing Director) in the corporate world, GM (General Manager) of a company, or an Editor of a magazine, everyone wants to be a leader. There are two distinct personalities “Manager” and “Leader”.
A leader is the one who nurtures life skills like Effective Communication, Time Management, Stress Management, and Relationship Management which helps develop holistically. An effective leader is a great listener. He/she must possess good character traits like Honesty, Competence, Candour (Impartial), Commitment, Integrity, Courage, Straightforwardness, and above all Imagination.
Before we get ahead, Let us try to understand leadership definition and the leadership skills owned by true leaders.
What is Leadership? Who are the leaders in society?
According to the conventional definitions, Leadership is an interpersonal influence directed toward the achievement of a goal or goals. In the present context, leadership is defined as “a dynamic relationship” established on shared influence and common purpose betwixt leaders and collaborators in which both are advanced to higher levels of inspiration and moral development as they affect factual, intended change.
When we look for the leaders in today’s dynamic world we look out for Narendra Damodar Modi (Indian Prime Minister), Donald Trump (US President), Vladimir Putin (Russian President), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Indian Cricketer), Azim Prem Ji (Chairman of Wipro Limited), Mukesh Ambani (MD and Chairman of Reliance Industries), Tim Cook (CEO of Apple), Mary Barra (CEO of General Motors Company) are to name a few. So what is that make them different from others?
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (or ‘Mahi’), One of the best captains in Indian Cricket history, is the man who stood out from the rest with his potential, leadership, and consistency. The distinct leadership’s qualities in him are his ability to remain cool, his act of staying grounded, always leading from the front, encouraging others to perform and sharing the credits among players.
Leadership versus Management
In conceptualizing leadership, it is very important to understand how it differs from management. In any organization, both management and leadership co-exist. It is of prime importance to understand their relationship and their distinctiveness.
- Management is the process of setting and achieving the goals of the institution through the functions planning, organizing, directing (or leading), and controlling. It deals more with carrying out the organization’s goals and maintaining equilibrium.
- In contrast, leadership is concerned with the interpersonal aspects of the head of the company, whereas designing, organizing, and managing deal with the administrative aspects. Leadership deals with development, inspiration, motivation, and influence.
The key point in differentiating between leadership and management is the idea that employees or staffs of the unit willingly follow leaders because they want to, not because they have to. Leaders may not acquire the formal power to recognize the achievement or give a reward. However, subordinates give the leader power by complying with what he or she requests. Leadership is thus a very significant psychological institution.
Styles of Leadership
Leadership style is the individual’s behaviour and approach of providing direction, putting into action plans, and motivating people. There are three different styles of leadership
- Authoritarian (Autocratic)
- Participative (Democratic), and
- Laissez-faire (Delegative or free reign)
This leader tells his/ her subordinates what he/she wants to be done and how he/she wants it done, without getting the advice from them. In this case, it is difficult for subordinates to contribute or develop. Some of the appropriate conditions to use this style are, when you have all the information to solve the problem, you are short on time, and your team members are well motivated.
Example: Adolf Hitler & Benito Mussolini
This leader includes one or more team members in the decision-making process in determining what to do and how to do it. However, the leader maintains the final decision-making authority. This is normally used when you have some of the information, and your employees have some of it. This allows your colleagues to be part of the team and allows you to make a better decision. This style leads to the most productive teams and decisions.
Example: Ratan Tata (TATA group)
Laissez-faire (‘delegative or free reign’)-Based on trust
In this style, the leader permits the employees to make the decisions. However, he/she is still responsible for the decisions that are made. This is used when employees are able to examine the situation and decides what needs to be done and how to do it.
Example: Mahatma Gandhi
Have you ever noticed how you approach people, clients, customers, your colleagues? The differences in the way people approach others indicate whether the leader is a “positive leader” or a “negative one”. Inculcating the Leadership qualities, understanding human nature, and exercising the different Leadership styles will help in better communication, coordination, supervision, and implementation of business plans and ultimately will shape You (Young Entrepreneurs) to be among the Top leaders of tomorrow’s business world.