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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

The Qualities of Good Leadership

I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times. ---- Everett Dirksen


To lead people, walk beside them … As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate … When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves! ----- Lao-Tsu

 How can you be a dynamic, confident and enthusiastic leader?

ü  The first quality of leadership is to set an example. A good leader doesn’t just order things; he does it so that others can do it.

ü  A leader takes good care of those whom he is leading (that is, the led).

ü  A true leader doesn’t create followers; he brews leaders. And then chain action happens. A leader should delegate responsibility.

ü  A leader doesn’t depend on authority. He just does a thing, whether authority is invested or not. It comes by itself.

ü  A good leader does not worry about position. The respect that you gain through virtue is very different from the respect you gain through the position. The respect you get through a position is short-lived and temporary. But the respect that you gain just because of your smile, your attitude, your virtues are there with you all the time. You may be a chairman of this committee, a president of that committee, or you are barrister here or governor of that state — these are all momentary, temporary. They come and they go. And the respect you get because of this position is not genuine, it is not from the heart, it is not true. But the respect you gain because you are a nice person, is genuine, it lasts long. It is spontaneous.

ü  A leader is alert and when challenges come, he is unperturbed. A good leader is one who does not drop things when challenges appear.


 The seventh quality of a good leader is one who does not care for comfort, but who stretches himself beyond the comfort zone. Anything creative, dynamic and great can happen only when you stretch beyond your comfort zone where we are often stuck. We think we cannot do something: just make an effort and put one step ahead, and you will find that you are expanding your comfort zone. Creativity transcends your comfort zone. Or, when you step out of the comfort zone, your creativity comes into play.

ü  A leader should not mix head and heart. If you mix head and heart, you are in a mess! When you have to work, you work with commitment and you live with your head. In life, in situations other than when you are working, listen to your heart.

ü  A good leader should be multidimensional and see from the other’s point of view. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes, look from the other person’s point of view.

ü  The leader doesn’t depend on one-sided information. When you get some news from one side, don’t take any decision or conclusion till you hear from the other side also. Leader should be a good communicator.

ü  A leader should have a direct approach. 


good leader is not to judge oneself. You have this tendency of judging yourself, “Am I good? I’m no good.” The self-judgment is an obstruction. Stop doing that. Don’t judge yourself. When you judge yourself, you are judging others also. Then you oscillate like a pendulum. If you feel you’re good, then you are saying that others are not so good. So when you find that others are good, and then you feel that you are no good, you blame yourself. Judgment is very similar to self-blame and blaming others. We have to get out of this vicious circle of self-judgment. That is also the state of surrender. When you have surrendered to the Divine that means that you no longer judge yourself. Self-judgment is not necessary. A child is so innocent, why? Because the child doesn’t judge itself.

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