When we become responsible for others, we no longer are focused on us. We move towards serving other people. Serving other people is leadership.Pandering to one’s own needs without a care about others is absence of leadership.
There are so many books these days about leadership and how it is an important part of making an organization successful. There are so many so-called leadership gurus who teach and train people in organizations to ‘develop’ leadership. Yet when we look at all organizations, whether they are doing business to make a profit, or in government service or in the area of social services, true leaders are rare. If you look at any organization you will find that less than 1% tends to become the so-called leaders in the organization. If you look at business organizations, we can say that there are probably only 1% of these organizations that can claim to be true leaders in their fields who are excelling in all areas of their business – making a profit, delivering good products and services, providing service to society, providing satisfaction to their employees, etc. So we can say, true leaders are actually 1% of the 1% of successful business organizations. It means just 0.01% of the overall working population actually has true leadership qualities in them! We can say the same about organizations in other fields. This is what I mean when I say true leaders are rare.
Everyone can become a leader and the quality of leadership arises from one’s ability to take responsibility for a particular organization, a situation or a particular group.
Let us now try and understand why this is the case.
For this, we need to understand:
- What is Leadership?
- Can leaders be ‘created’ or do you have to be a born leader?
- What are the key ingredients that make a successful leader?
- Why do some individuals effortlessly and ‘naturally’ lead and most others struggle?
- How do we start the process of our individual journey to become leaders?
Let us now understand step by step all these points.
So many books have been written on this subject of leadership by management gurus, professors and consultants. Most of them have spoken about how a successful leader should be. There are a lot of courses conducted by companies on leadership, team work, etc. My disciples who have come from the corporate world have described to me how these courses are conducted and what they have been striving to achieve through these courses. They have also told me that while the courses have been helpful to them, the effect from the courses tends to wear off within a short period after the courses are completed. I am told of weekend boot camps where team spirit is built by climbing ropes, playing games, creating a sense of friendship, etc. The gist I picked up from hearing my disciples is that these training programs tend to work on the outer attributes but do little to change or improve the ‘inner software’ of the individuals so that leadership can radiate from the individual.
Leadership is not a quality, but an experience that can radiate from an individual who has experienced personal growth and transformation. Now let me give you some explanations of how leadership is described traditionally. If you search the internet under the terms ‘Leadership’ and ‘Leader’, you will be amazed at the millions of hits that come up! Just recently when I typed the word ‘Leadership’ on Google it had 156 million hits and the word ‘Leader’ had 278 million hits! So whatever needs to be written or said on these topics has been said! So I am here to mainly give you a few examples from the leading management gurus and their concepts of a leader and more importantly to give you the real understanding, tools and techniques on how to become a leader and how anyone can radiate leadership as a result of personal transformation!
Understand, every human being is a potential leader. Leadership is not a quality only some people have been born with as is viewed and understood currently. Everyone can become a leader and the quality of leadership arises from one’s ability to take responsibility for a particular organization, a situation or a particular group.
I have here some definitions of leadership you can get from an internet search:
Peter Drucker defines a leader as ‘someone who has followers’.
John C Maxwell says, ‘Leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less.’
Warren Bennis says, ‘Leadership is a function of knowing yourself, having a vision that is well communicated, building trust among colleagues, and taking effective action to realize your own leadership potential.’
John Gardner defines leadership as ‘the process of persuasion and example by which an individual or leadership team induces a group to take action that is in accord with the leader’s purpose, or the shared purposes of all.’
Here is yet another definition of a leader from an unnamed source, ‘Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. Leaders carry out this process by applying their leadership attributes, such as beliefs, values, ethics, character, knowledge, and skills.’
I am sure there are thousands of such definitions on what a leader should be and what leadership is. I am not going to go into too much of detail into this, but I wanted to point out some of the quotes from leading management gurus on leaders and leadership. All of these experts tell us what a leader should be and the traits that define a successful leader. Yet, there is very little of how one can attain this state of a leader. So it leads to the question: Are leadership traits inborn or can a leader be created?
To understand this, we need to delve into the composition of the mind and the science of the so called inner world. This is an area where the eastern mystics have spent thousands of years exploring and discovering the inner world. They have created tools and techniques to create the right ‘inner software’ to cultivate leadership skills. Let us explore this in greater detail. A lot has been said by many people on what a leader should be. But there is very little that has been said about actually how to get there.
What exactly do I mean by this? Is leadership some quality you have to be born with or can it be cultivated? How can one develop leadership skills? Can a person truly lead an organization if he or she is caught up in personal struggles and confusions?
Before we get into these details, let me first say that leadership skills can be cultivated. It is all about achieving the state of consciousness of a leader and not the status that is achieved by becoming a leader. When you read this, please do not think I am going to take you through a spiritual journey! The process I am going to take you through is a time-tested, proven science of personal transformation. It is a product of ten thousand years of research and development from the Eastern system of inner science. What do I mean by this?
Firstly, understand that every civilization has focused its energies in certain fields. In the West, they focused their efforts on the outer world science, innovation, discovery and creation of products and services to improve the quality of life and comforts. These outer world scientists have discovered so many products and services which have greatly benefitted humanity and improved the quality of life of humans all over the world. Just as there is science of the outer world, there is a vast science of the inner world, something that lies within all of us.
The scientists of the inner world or rishis worked on various tools and techniques to handle the different emotions we experience and our mind. Over the last ten thousand years, these scientists of the inner world have created tools and techniques that help us handle our emotions and overcome the stress and depression from emotions. They have created techniques for us to live blissfully with ourselves. These tools and techniques are what I call meditation techniques. So most of my discussion on leadership will be focused on giving an understanding of human emotions, the mind and how we can use these simple understandings from the inner scientists to help us lead a successful and fulfilling life.
source: Living Enlightenment