Practice makes us better in our behavior and in the daily acts that we do. For example, when we learn yoga, ballet, gymnastics, piano, tennis …..we consciously practice the relevant movements, repeatedly in a deliberate way. Thus by these conscious repeated practice, we become better each day at these acts. Our entire life is like this, but we more often than not, are less conscious of the practice that goes behind the acts and the behavior.
Each day if we consciously practice good habits we will excel at it and they will become a natural way of our life.
I believe that credentials on the wall alone do not necessarily make you a decent human being. A LEADER can be any of us, one with NO TITLE. It is important to be human & what is more important is One’s disposition. Each of us can inspire others by the way we conduct ourselves on a day to day basis and be inspired by others.
So what are these qualities that each of us can have to inspire others in whatever we do
1. GRACIOUSNESS – Be gracious in all situations no matter if you are dealing with your subordinate or supervisor. Many forget their graciousness if they feel their power is lost. We are benevolent when our status is unchallenged. But if it comes to a power-play situation, very few of us can tolerate being upstaged, even for a fleeting moment.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Viktor E. Frankl
2.LEARN FROM MISTAKES – Don’t judge somebody by the mistakes they have made. In fact, the greatest virtue of mistakes is that they show us a path to new discoveries and open our mind. The key is to learn from one’s mistake and move forward rather than not having tried at all. One of the things that defines our character is how we handle mistakes.
I read in a blog post How To Make A Brilliant Mistake by Paul Schoemaker about how a mistake can be viewed positively by a company and how they can reap benefits from the same. Relevant extract from the blog below
“The president of an Ann Arbor, Michigan business concocted what he calls the Golden Egg award to make sure his people would extract as much learning as possible from failures. He asks managers to share their mistakes at a monthly meeting not unlike the mortality and morbidity reviews hospitals hold to learn from medical errors. At first participants were reluctant to open up, but eventually these confessionals became a favorite part of the session.
The manager who presents the best mistake of the month gets the Golden Egg trophy—a spray-painted L’eggs pantyhose plastic egg. Initially, the trophies stayed in the desk drawer of the (un)lucky winner. But over time, winners became proud enough to place the trophy on their desk for the entire month. This naturally prompted conversations with visitors about with how managers were able to convert egg on their face into omelets rich with insight and learning. In short, the president managed to change the culture from one that hides mistakes to one that celebrates them.
3. MULTICULTURAL LEADERSHIP Starts from within. Just like each of us would like to be respected, we need to understand the values of different cultures whilst dealing with people on the global front. Only through knowing and understanding the sensitivity of other cultures deeply can a person link different people to a common cause and influence them to achieve the goal.
4. ENCOURAGE< CRITIQUE BUT DO NOT CRITICIZE/JUDGE – it is way too easy for us to criticize someone because of our perceptions of them. When I hear and see a kid screaming in a café, my first thought may be “can’t the parent teach the kid to behave well and be better mannered.” That thought is being too judgemental without even knowing the kid or the parent or what each of them has gone through. A leader tends to walk a mile in another’s shoe before criticizing or judging first. The following lyrics from one of Elvis Presley’s song Walk A Mile In My Shoes resonates the message well
Walk a mile in my shoes,
just walk a mile in my shoes
Before you abuse, criticize and accuse
Then walk a mile in my shoes
5.LEAD BY EXAMPLE – The story here (Source) highlights the qualities of authenticity, honesty, daring to live one’s dreams, listen to understand, encourage and empower those around you
The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.
She said, ‘Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?’I laughed and enthusiastically responded ‘Of course you may!’ and she gave me a giant squeeze. ‘Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?’ I asked. She jokingly replied, ‘I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids….”No seriously,’ I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.’I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!’ she told me.
After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this ‘time machine’ as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.
Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she revelled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.
At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor.
Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, ‘I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.’ As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, ‘ We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.
There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humour every day. You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it! There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up…If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.’ She concluded her speech by courageously singing ‘The Rose.’
She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives… At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly be.
Leadership is A Choice to inspire each other in all we do and something we practice day-to-day from within.
Hope you enjoyed the post, if you would like to add some more qualities please feel free to do so.