Why leadership is about the development of others

“It’s like if you plant something in the concrete and if it grow and the rose petal got all kinds of scratches and marks, you ain’t gonna say, “Damn, look at all the scratches and marks on the rose that grew from the concrete.’ You’re gonna be like, ‘Damn, a rose grew from the concrete?’”

-Tupac Shakur

Music is not just the food of love but most times makes sense out of the senseless. Which is why I enjoy it so much.

This quote by Tupac Shakur came by me at an opportune moment as I thought deeply about leadership and its real impact on the people it serves.

I have observed and experienced that leaderships comes from within and around in an organisation or environment. People can inspire action in others through a human ability to care no matter their role, and others drive action by being in senior roles which command the management of a group in that unit.

In essence, the best leadership is about inspiring the greatness in others.

Image courtesy of https://goo.gl/ljvG95

And inspiring the greatness in others is not noticing that the rose chose to grow from concrete which may appear a failure at first, but nurturing and encouraging growth despite harsh and unyielding conditions which may otherwise have hampered that drive to turn into something admirable.

Warren Buffett’s biography ‘Snowball’ power packed some lessons on key leadership characteristics necessary for great success. And I think you will find as you read through the list below that these characteristics are intrinsic in driving change with human capital for their betterment.

  1. Trustworthiness. A leader is unable to lead a team unless their team, clients and the general public trust the person and their judgment. Demonstrating kindness, being transparent and honouring large commitments which could make or break the team will inspire the same action in others.

2. Skill. Being really good at what they do (both hard and soft skills) will ensure that a leader commands respect, and not demand it. Demanding it implies fear which leaves no room for learning. This is the difference between sub-standard leadership and inspirational leadership.

3. Energy. The team is always watching their leader and responds with enthusiasm or apathy dependent on their leader’s response to situations which have a direct impact on them.

4. Love for the business. I agree with Warren here. It’s more about getting the job done and getting people to do their jobs too. It’s about taking ownership in the organisation because the leader truly believes in the growth of the organisation and cares about it.

Motivational speaker and author Robin Sharma defined leadership at its heart when he said that, ‘Leadership is a way of being’ and aptly titled one of his books ‘Leading without Title.’ I take away from this that at its core, leadership is about harnessing the potential of others and inspiring them to take action on that potential for the greater good of themselves while building the greater good of the organisation. And while that happens, consistent and transparent communication must facilitate the process; because without that we would wither away a life unlived, without joy and fulfilment.

What does leadership mean to you?

About Leo Chetty

Find more information at https://www.linkedin.com/in/leo-chetty/