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Sunday, 24 August 2014

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Leadership: mix of skills and morals

Leadership is not about what the leader is made of, but what the leader demonstrates in his daily actions. It is about how he or she builds the confidence of everyone else.

Leaders are responsible for the big structures that serve as the cornerstones of confidence and for the human touch that shapes a positive emotional climate to inspire and motivate people.

Confidence alone worked in the old environment and we all benefitted by practicing it. But times have changed demanding finer, more aggressive and deeper inner thoughts and skills to stay ahead in the game.

Consider today's level and nature of competition and challenges. They are unpredictable, fierce, dirty and cut-throat. The conditions to play the game are not the same as before. Continue to nurture the skills you have been depending on earlier. After all they have taken you this far. But think of new skills to effectively deal with the changes.

A sense of bravery enables you to confront the changed situations better. Physical bravery is seen through body language, while moral bravery is not. It's the ability to act correctly in the face of popular opposition. And both are equally important - one in isolation has little effect.

Defeatism

Battle after battle is the reality of the business world - when will we see the end of discouraging news and negative developments? - Never? Defeatism is a natural feeling even when winning, as the future is uncertain.

Leaders encounter harsh realities but can never show less than sheer bravery and optimism in the eyes of followers.

A leader needs to project bravery for the team to share the same feeling when approaching more aggressive battles for success. A leader arguably should be quite an actor.

Changing moods, balancing emotions and sending positive signals to the team is a fundamental need to build a sense of hope and confidence. This process has a reciprocal effect - so it helps the leader too, to stay on course.

Perhaps the leadership trait most admired by followers is bravery in any situation. Followers like to see leaders thinking big and showing courage.

This is a leadership trait most entrepreneurs have in spades! Bravery is infectious and inspirational - and works.

Our own history teaches us many real examples of bravery. So it is inherent to us but how many of us use this trait to add something to life.

At the end of the day, leadership is about having the guts to make tough decisions and making them work through the people. If someone is afraid to make and commit to decisions, all of the communication and empowerment in the world won't make a squat of difference.

Real power

Not only does bravery allow you to make the tough decisions that people expect from a strong leader but it's reassuring to your employees.

As a leader, consider how well you deliver a speech at a company forum.

If you deliver it with bravery, it inspires your team, but the same speech delivered with doubt becomes a mockery.

Any discussion on leadership without first addressing the internal confidence of the leader in question is little more than window dressing.

Passion - No one will be passionate if you can't set a course for the future with confidence.

Communication - People don't listen to those who are unsure of themselves and lack power.

Empowerment - If you don't have the internal fortitude to make decisions and commitments, then empowerment is just an empty word.

 

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