How many of you would like to become the next Richard Bronson, Angela Merkel, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey or Nelson Mandela. I believe today’s world is full of candidates with the potential to become one of these icons. A realistic view would say that some of us will give up, some others will follow someone else’s path, and only a few will stick on the leadership journey. I did not write off this post to predict the future but to share my vision about three golden leadership values.
Leadership has changed dramatically over the years from authority to inspiration, from intimidation to persuasion and from “me” to “we” mentality. Nowadays, we live in an era of satiety, flexibility, liberty, possibility and opportunity that our parents and grand parents did not have and could not wish for. We not only look up to leaders that are successful in their professional lives but also in their personal lives. Leadership essence has shifted to an equilibrium in all aspects of life: from private self to enlarged entourage: home, work and community. Leadership is a skill to develop. Leadership is an adventure to explore. Leadership is an art to master.
To be part of this journey, there are three golden values to stand for:
Let’s act with authenticity with our life partner, fellow family members, colleagues and peers. Let’s consistently embody the values we advocate for regardless of the context. I personally went through unpleasant situations at work; bamboozling colleagues: while working on a myriad of projects. I had to send out subsequent emails and chase some of them down to get a follow-up response. Let’s hold our selves accountable and communicate in timely manner to maintain a genuine relationship with each other.
Let’s act with integrity by clarifying expectations, aligning interests and building a supportive environment. Whenever I receive a request for a mentorship at the Toastmaster club, I send out a form asking my mentees to clarify their expectations for the next 3 to 6 and 9 to 12 months. I also share with them my availabilities and the type of support I am willing to provide them with. I am grateful to my mentees for this unique opportunity to brush up my leadership skills. We are all here to help each other burgeon. My growth is their growth and vice versa when we act with integrity.
Let’s challenge the status quo and find new ways of doing things to stand out of the crowd. The world we live in is full of ambiguity and individuals who embrace change courageously and fearlessly are the leaders of tomorrow. Any task performed joyfully and lovingly lead to creative outcomes. So, let’s shift our perceptions and create a culture of innovation wherever we go.
Leadership is an art that can be cultivated by embodying these three attributes: authenticity, integrity and creativity. When we incorporate these values on a consistent basis, people would baptize us ship captains by acclamation. Polishing up these values create a sense of connection & coherence among all areas of our lives. One change can have ripple effects on all area of life. We attract like-minded people and inspire fellow family members, colleagues and peers to achieve a common purpose. I would like to leave you with this quote from a Persian poet and Sufi mystic, Rumi, who lived in the 13th century: “Yesterday, I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today, I am wise, so I am changing myself”.