The subject of effective leadership has been of great interest for humanity since long. You can find a large number of books and material on the net on the subject. I had written a blog on the differences between ‘leadership and management’ earlier for the benefit of students seeking clarity between the two. In this blog I attempt to clarify the prime requisite for an effective leader to help SSB and other leadership assignment aspirants understand the same and thereafter work towards development of their personalities.
Definition of Leadership
A very simple and clear definition is given below:
“A leader is a person who can motivate and organize a group of people to achieve a common goal”
I am confident that this definition will be acceptable to most readers. From the above it is clear that a leader has to motivate and organize a group of people. To be able to do so, he needs some qualities in him. If you start researching you are likely to get confused in the large amount of available literature. I will give a one line essential requisite for an effective leader:
“Prime requisite of an effective leader is that he be effective in his personal life”
‘Inter-personal’ effectiveness can come after ‘personal’ effectiveness. A person who is ineffective in personal life cannot be an effective leader. After becoming effective in personal life can one aspire to become ‘inter-personally effective.’
Constituents of Personal Effectiveness
Major common characteristics shared by persons effective in personal life are discussed below.
- Proactive. A person who is effective in personal life is proactive and not reactive. He considers himself responsible for making his destiny & not the environment. He is unlikely to give credence to fortune tellers, palmists & weekly forecasts of sun signs. He has no time for such nonsense! He is busy focusing his energies on what he can do. He thinks rationally and is not controlled by his emotions.
- Vision. An effective person has a clear vision of what he seeks in personal and professional life and is not confused. He works purposefully to achieve his goals.
- Priorities in Life. An effective person has clarity of priorities in life. He knows clear difference between things which are ‘urgent’ and those which are ‘important’. He can differentiate between his priorities and those which are of others. He can firmly say ‘no’ to many expectations that friends and relatives may have of him, because he is the master of his destiny.
- Organized Life. Such a person has a well organized, disciplined and systematic life. It is well balanced giving due importance to work, personal growth, fitness and relations.
- Time Management. A person who is effective in personal life manages time well. It is vital for long term success.
I hope it is amply clear that personal effectiveness is a prerequisite for becoming an effective leader. All leadership aspirants should work towards inculcating these qualities. If you cannot control as to at what time to get up, or plan your major activities for the day, or finish your assignment and need your parents, or teachers to kick you constantly to do your daily work, then I am sorry, you will be an unfit leader.
Please do not seek inspiration from Ambanis and majority of our political leaders. They have reached their positions of power because of their manipulative skills and not genuine leadership qualities.