How to enhance Inspirational Leadership capability
Heraclitus of Ephesus, also known as ˜The Obscure’ or ˜The Weeping Philosopher’, gave the world something to think about as long back as roughly 500 years before Christ, when he said: No man steps into the same river twice. Today, so many centuries hence, we are still trying to come to terms with the significance of this piece of truthful wisdom, which also resonates in the concept of Impermanence as talked about in Buddhism. ˜Anicya’ (Pali word for Anitya; literally meaning impermanent), it says, ˜everything is impermanent’. Even you, and me. In every moment, we change eternally, irreversibly. And so do things around us. This is where Leaders and Leadership come in.
Leadership is not about taking to a lectern and giving glorious speeches, nor is it about heading a team to achieve set targets; it’s not about calling the shots, nor is it about ensuring utmost respect from the family and passing writs, even if they be for the good of others. Spearheading a team, wielding influence over others are certainly some practical applications of a leadership attitude but true leadership ought to be made of sterner stuff, otherwise we would be taking the name of Hitler and Gandhi in the same breath, wouldn’t we? More often than not, we get fooled by management dressed as leadership. If you want to be a true leader in your own right, just start leading your own life! We seldom realize how empowering this truth is. This vantage point will take you to an altogether different perspective – as a leader, you value the opportunity to grow, provide solutions, ensure your actions strike an accord with your vision and build them on the foundation of your values. Carpe Diem. Seize the day! Some of the things you can do to enhance your inspirational leadership quality are:
Build Excellence; don’t try to command it: Make people around you move from transactional domains to the transformational ones; who rise to the occasion and from management by exceptions and contingent rewards, move on to inspirational motivation and idealized influences. Create leaders who are courageous and not just brave, those who are persistent and not just insistent, those who are at once broad minded and fair minded, and those who inspire through their own character and not just motivate. Be such a leader and create many more around you.
Increase participation and dialogue: Wise leaders take the lead in initiating settings that lend themselves to increased participation and dialogue, thus creating grounds for shared visions to emerge. They create an environment where decisions are not made behind closed doors and inconvenient facts are not papered over, thus bringing transparency and objectivity to decision making.
Create an ethical climate: Wise leaders create an ethical climate at the workplace by ensuring that people are allowed to speak their mind without fear. They help even opposing voices to articulate what they wish to express. In fact moderate level conflicts around tasks and processes can actually be functional, and the wise do not hesitate in seeking the best, no matter where it comes from. Knowledge is not proprietary, and wisdom could emanate from the least likely of all sources. So keep an open mind and a big heart, and you will be able to change the world around you.
When you become too sensitive to the frailty of the physical environment, you tend to lose sense of the ethical environment that ought to be. Our ethical environment sensitizes us about how to live, what is acceptable and what is not, and what is admirable or contemptible. Wise leaders contemplate, and then propagate reasoned views on what we need to take pride in and what we ought to feel shame for; we need to do it ourselves as well, with our conscience as the yardstick. If you don’t stand up for what’s right and stand against what is wrong, we will all fall into the abyss of disharmony. So arise, awake, and figure out what is due to us, and more importantly, what is due FROM us! That is the key to inspirational leadership.