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5 simple tips to be a GREAT leader

By Dr Surender Jeet Raj
February 05, 2020 11:20 IST
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Leadership is a process, and not a destination, says Dr Surender Jeet Raj.
It's not a goal to be achieved, but a way of life to be lived.

Leadership

Image published for representational purposes only. Photograph: Courtesy geralt/Pixabay.com

Picture someone you work with or have worked with in the past, who has immense knowledge -- not only in their own field of expertise and the associated fields but in almost everything.

A person who is not boastful of their knowledge, status, or power.

On the contrary, they are likable, approachable, and effective in dealing with people -- all at the same time. They are well-read and endlessly well-spoken.

The person you are picturing is a 'dynamic leader.'

A dynamic leader is one who establishes authority, but not by their title, and definitely not by force.

They assert authority through their conduct with the team, the effectiveness of their work, and their ability to translate a vision into action.

As a result, they are an inspiration to many young professionals looking to develop themselves as leaders. Below are five tips for people who aspire to become a dynamic leader:

1. Positive attitude and self-belief

Probably the first thing that any emerging leader should do is maintain a positive attitude and believe that they are worthy of being a leader. Then they must graduate and develop the necessary skills and behaviors required to reach their goals.

One easy way to develop the mindset of a dynamic leader is to ask questions and seek answers.

Read, listen to others' experiences, get into discussions, maybe even disagreements, and then read some more -- a leader must pursue every avenue to become more aware of the world.

2. Be responsible and accountable

Taking responsibility and accountability for oneself, one’s own work, and eventually of the team's output is also an integral step towards stepping up on the leadership ladder.

Responsibility is a mindset that allows an individual to marry their personal actions to the results.

Continuous effort to develop this mindset and make accountability a habit will go a long way in your ability to eventually plan your actions in the context of the business’ strategic goals and vision.

3. Invest time in connecting with people

Practice connecting with people -- across levels, industries, and interest areas -- even people you may not like.

A dynamic leader connects with everyone, is able to give both constructive feedback and praise, and knows how to get work done while also ensuring healthy relationships.

In short, dynamic leaders are emotionally intelligent, as they are aware of their own and others' emotions and know how to manage them well.

They are able to remove themselves from an emotionally laden situation and then do what is right and necessary.

4. Always find opportunities for self-improvement

Identify and practice various techniques for self-improvement in terms of time management, enhancing efficiency, influencing skills, and others.

Try as many techniques and new ideas as possible to see what works for you, and then adapt them as a regular practice.

5. Learn to say 'NO'

A leader needs to be able to evaluate when to be kind and when to push back.

Being a 'people person' does not mean you let others step on your toes or convince you to do something against your own principles.

Sometimes a leader must be firm in saying NO and pushing back -- not for fulfilling their personal need for power but to ensure the benefit of all.

The ability to identify when and how to do so is what needs to be learned and practiced as one grows into a dynamic leader.

Remember leadership is a process, and not a destination.

It's not a goal to be achieved, but a way of life to be lived.

There is a need to constantly work on further challenging oneself, searching for avenues for continuous improvement and learning, being open to the cards that are played for the individual, and being open-minded.

The risk of falling and failing is high, but with the right motivation and a positive attitude, leadership development is a journey that most find satisfying and endlessly rewarding.


Dr Surender Jeet Raj, senior vice president HR operations, Newgen Software. He can be contacted on ga@rediff-inc.com.


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