You may be the best and there may be no doubt about that bit, but all that greatness and being the best will go in vain, unless you have a progressive and well defined “Leadership Quotient” to bank upon at your foundation! Join me here as we explore around this concept and try to embrace a singular fact that leadership has nothing to with what your business card says, but has everything to do with you!
The biggest fallacy about leadership is that people tend to wait for someone to ask them to lead and more importantly all that managerial direction is often and always mis-interpreted to be leadership! Like many of the great masters who have been advocates on Leadership has said time and again, leadership is all about – being a leader and no matter who you are, what you can do and not do, the fact is that leadership can be practiced and furthered even in the smallest way- that may seem trivial for a someone else, but that same act can be empowering and encouraging for the other person! This is the essence of leadership- it always start from you and unless you don’t take charge for yourself and decide to lead your life, why would anyone else ever want to collaborate and walk alongside you, forget about having followers and people being drawn to you by inspiration!
People have always argued and debated about leadership being in the blood or whether it can be developed- well, if you ask, me like anything and everything else, you can embrace and develop leadership as a trait- but if you are also blessed by a natural affinity for it- then the chances of one being a success story at leadership are far more amplified! (or should I say instances of errors of judgement for practicing leadership are reduced!). So, now, on to the million dollar question, how do you know, if you are a leader or how much of leadership you have with you? How do you go about deciphering the leadership quotient? How do you deploy and how do you ensure it doesn’t get lost? Well, let’s go!
Unlike, enrolling for that costly weekend seminar or that workshop, or that psychometric test (sure they do play a role, but I will come to all of that later), revisit your childhood- yes, childhood, I mean when you were still malleable and ductile enough to be stretched by imagination and flexible enough to adjust (especially when you thought it was uncomfortable!) If you spend good enough time reminiscing your childhood memories (unless you too have a lost memory problem- like the one I do!), you will come across multiple instances of that fabled “first time” and when you begin to sieve through those “first times” you will start to see a pattern emerge- this pattern is about what your natural behaviour is and what is that you are comfortable- leading (to what extent and when and for what) and comfortable following or collaborating (again to what extent , when and for what). This proportion and frequency is what determines what is that triggers you to stand up and lead and what is that triggers you to collaborate or follow others. The in-depth deciphering around this fundamental aspect will further begin to throw light about what parts of your life you want to lead more over the others! People often feel leadership, is about taking all the decisions all the time and the fact is that nothing could be more away from the truth! Leadership is about taking those decisive stances when that moment arrives, it is about leading what matters and leading when only you can and you have to- because only your way of leadership is the answer to resolve that challenge at hand! This is the space where iconic stories about leaders get built and a whole new cult of followership is born- aligned to this unique new style or practise of leadership which has is nothing more or nothing less than the personification of who you are! Effective Leadership is always the Leader in Action- It is the personification of who you are in action!
So, to drive the point here, your leadership is about the choices that you make with regards to when you want to lead and when you want to be by the sides! It is about making those meaningful choices which then go on to define you- through your practise of leadership and this is what is the essence of the “Leadership Quotient”. The Leadership Quotient, if you ask me is not about a specific metric that can be measured rather it is an observation and assessment in terms of what makes your leadership practise great and when does it fail! You see, as you you choose what to lead and what not to lead, if you end up erring by making some weird choices, you will start to see your leadership decline and falter, this faltering will not be because you aren’t a leader or you aren’t capable of leading, but rather, because you made a choice to lead something that you aren’t great at leading! let me explain!
Let me take you back to your childhood, identify that one instance when leading gave you an immense high! It could be leading that debate competition, that sports team, or acing that quiz, it could be that rattling off numbers and wining a competition or it could be acing the class and leading your way to win the annual award- and now zoom back into your now and just run through the recent examples of when you think you lead well, really well! Do you see a connection, you possibly will! Leaders always lead exceptionally well on matters that they are intrinsically hardwired into- who they are, that is when leadership personifies and that is when magic happens, simply because you are playing to your natural strength of who you are, when you lead on aspects that are acquired and not natural to you, is when your ability to lead will drop from being great to good and this is where you will find majority of the corporate managers- who are actually good and perhaps great at directing- but average when it comes to the ability to lead!
There is also another bit that plays a vital role in impacting the leadership quotient and that is about the contextual settings! You see as long as the contextual settings are aligned to what your natural strength to lead is, you will see it easy to go further and wide, on the contrary, if you are coerced into leading that isn’t natural to you and if anther layer of competing context is applied by virtue of the settings around you, needless to say, that leadership assignment will seem to be like a boulder around the neck rather being a jewel adorning the crown of your professional achievements! So what is leadership quotient all about actually? What is the path to take and when do you know, something is not going the way it should and that you should pull those brakes!
Well, leadership quotient, as I said earlier is a personification of who you are and all that comes to you naturally to lead and sustain helped by supportive contextual settings! When each of these elements align aptly and you are adequately empowered that is when you get to deploy and utilize your leadership to the maximum potential and thereby your quotient will sail higher than the rest around you! Likewise, when any of these factors falter, they will tend to be a drag, that is when you will experience a drag towards deploying your leadership and eventually will find it more and more complicated to lead yourself, let alone others!
The trick to sail high on leadership quotient, is to play it to your natural fields that you can lead effortlessly, next, if that is not a choice, than make the acquired ones’ as naturally aligned to yourself as much as possible and work towards making the contextual settings fall around in alignment with the purpose of you active leadership! Sure enough, not all leaders get to experience high leadership quotient all through their leadership, but the essence lies in increasing the frequency of all that blends in to enhance your leadership quotient- the ability to deliver, in a sustained manner over a long timelines, playing on your strengths- natural or acquired by ensuring that the contextual settings align and work to further your cause!
So, final words if you ask me, I would say this, Leadership Quotient is all about practicing leadership in a way that personifies who you are and practicing it in an area that is natural to you, if not that than in a field which you can embrace as your own and while doing all of that ensuring that all the other variables around align to empower and further your cause so that your Leadership stands out as a shining example about, “How Leadership must be” and that is what the essence of being high on the Leadership Quotient is all about!
Leadership begins with you and so does it rise and fall with you! Leadership is but a personification of who You are and resonates in action all that you are and all that you stand up for and stand against for! High Leadership Quotient is a recognition of the Leader within you, whether you are busy leading yourself or an organization, how well you do it or will do it, is what the leadership quotient is all about!
I leave you with these thoughts for now, urging you to engage with yourself to begin with and assess, how high you think you are or want to be on the Leadership Quotient and what is that you want to do next to take that to the level- where you can say that- You have arrived as a Leader- that You always wanted to be!
Ciao for now, will be back soon with another article, until then stay safe and stay wise!