True leaders don’t need a title to lead

There is a short video called The Tree on YouTube. The video was released as part of Times of India’s ad campaign “Lead India”.

The movie shows a young boy, maybe 5 or 6 year old, who through his leadership managed to help in a situation where nobody else was able to help.

A tree is blocking the road, apparently somewhere in India. People speak and look Indian. Suddenly we see this young boy with a school backpack who decides to take the lead and do something about the problem. Other people either argue whose fault/ responsibility it is or simply sit/ stand there and do nothing.

The boy comes up to this huge fallen tree and singlehandedly tries to move it. Naturally, moving the tree is beyond single individual’s capability. The tree won’t budge. But then more and more people join this boy and eventually they all manage to move the tree. People can drive and walk through again.

Why this seemingly insolvable situation happened? Because no adult was willing to take responsibility. Hence everybody was waiting for someone else to solve the problem. Meanwhile everybody was stuck.

The boy’s attitude, on the other hand, is the very essence of what it means to be a leader.

Leaders do things others don’t.

Leaders take responsibility.

Leaders have courage.

Leaders don’t accept the status quo.

Leaders are fine with being different.

Leaders often step outside their comfort zones.

Leaders don’t get discouraged by other people’s opinions/ what others might think about them.

Leaders are visionaries.

Leaders believe in their capability to make a difference.

Leaders show others what can be done, and that limits are only in our heads.

Leaders don’t look to others to solve problems. They face problems head on and try to solve them. Instead of asking “Who is responsible for this?” they ask themselves “What can I do about it? Can I solve this problem?”

Leaders are unstoppable. Fighters.

Leaders see every obstacle as a challenge and want to overcome it, rather than complain about it.

Leaders are the change they want to see in the world.

Leaders change the world for the better.

Those qualities were salient in this little boy’s behavior. To me that’s a perfect example of leadership and also how a leader can enact a movement.

Very often we think the leaders are only the heads of states, political parties and organisations. Those who possess some kind of a title to lead other people. In other words, those whom we choose to lead us or who, through cheating and trickery, secure leadership positions for themselves or others.

It’s often so that those without titles show more leadership qualities than those with titles.

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