A leader is a dealer in hope – The role of a leader is to articulate a vision, and a destination, then to encourage the actions that will be required to reach that goal. A leader should be a “beacon” of hope.
Remember your Boss can be your leader or he/she can be just your boss. Bosses are not always a leader. They may be bosses by title and position.
In my previous company, I had a boss. He was not a leader. He was like – My Way or High Way. He was so rude and ruthless that he reduced our IT team from 16 people to just 6 People. He used to remove people, I mean fire people politically who spoke anything against him or who does not follow his instructions. He was not goal-oriented but just a self-centric & political person who like his own progress. He has nothing to do with the progress of our company.
None of us admired him and follow him. Everyone heats him – He is the BOSS, not the Leader. But, the question arises how do you become the leader others admire and follow?
I believe to be a leader that others want to follow and admire first, you have to be a good follower.
That means that you are willing to be coachable, you are willing to listen, that you are open to ideas and you seek mentorship from people who have more experience than you, people who are better leaders than you.
We all started out as good followers and how they become a leader is when you do have other people also following you.
I want to share three principles with you that I believe have guided me through my journey and helped me to become a better leader every single day.
Boss vs Leader – 3 Proven Principles That Makes you Good Leader
#1 Purpose over Position
The first one is purpose over the position. You see titles and positions, they give you authority over other people but that doesn’t make you a leader.
As a leader, you need people to follow you that’s what makes you a leader.
Out there a lot of people especially in the business world, believe that, hey I’ve got the title I am the Manager – IT, I am General Manager – IT, I am the VP, and that you should listen to me.
Well, those titles give you positioning authority but then that doesn’t make you someone that other people want to follow and respect.
They are two very different things.
I believe leadership is not a title, I believe leadership is situational.
Let me get an example.
For example, let’s say you are planning to visit Mumbai to Surat and you started your journey in a certain direction, right?
Say, I am the quote-unquote leader, I’m the boss who is coming with you in the same car and I say okay, we’ll go in this certain direction.
What if the destination direction to Surat that I’m giving is wrong. It’s wrong.
But maybe someone else knows the right direction is actually following the GPS or Google Maps and we should go in this direction, well, and then we go in that direction.
So even though I have a position, I have the title but then my direction is wrong that doesn’t make me a good leader so it changes all the time.
So whoever is making the best decision for the group, what’s best for the group that makes that person a strong leader.
So I believe a strong leader always has a very strong purpose, meaning a strong why, a strong mission, what are we doing?
- Why are we doing it?
- Where we are going.
That sense of purpose, that sense of clarity.
And as a leader, you’ve got to communicate all the time.
All the time, all the time.
And in fact, part of your job as a leader too, is to bring more clarity on a consistent basis of what the purpose is, and what the vision is, have we refined it?
Are we making any kind of changes? Are we making any kind of pivot?
So that’s the first principle, purpose over the position.
#2 Principles over Popularity
The second leadership principle I want to share with you is principles over popularity.
A lot of leaders, not even leaders a lot of people they want to be popular, they think, Oh I want to lot of people to like me.
Well, you know what if your goal is for people to like you you will not be a very good leader because as a leader very often it requires you to make tough decisions, decisions that other people may not understand, decisions that may not be popular that may not make you popular.
In order to move forward, in order for the group or the company to survive you got to make some tough decisions so it’s not a popularity contest.
If you want to win a popularity contest then you should go into a reality show or popularity contest but if you want to be a leader forget about being popular.
In some cases, they would misunderstand your decision.
They would criticize, that’s all part of being a leader, that’s part of what comes with the territory.
That’s what comes with leadership. So I would say principles mean that you know what you believe in you make decisions based on certain guiding principles that you strongly believe in.
You know that’s what’s best for the company and you know that’s what’s best for the group but it may not be popular for certain people in your group and you need to be okay with that.
#3 Passion over Power
And the third principle is passion over power. I’ve never met a strong leader that is not passionate.
Can you imagine you go to your members, your teams and you’re like, hey you know I got a good idea.
I kind of I want to share this with you and I think we’re going to do this.
That doesn’t inspire anybody, that doesn’t motivate anybody.
In order for others to be excited, to get excited about your idea you first need to be excited.
You got to first have high energy, you have to be passionate first before anything else.
If you rely on power, meaning that hey you know what? I am the manager I am the boss and I am superior you should listen to me and that’s the way it is, it’s my way or the highway.
No, sometimes people would do it but deep down they don’t believe in that vision they don’t buy into that but when you’re passionate passion it’s contagious.
That when you’re excited about something then you get people excited.
I found that a lot of leaders, a lot of great leaders, they could get people behind an idea to push forward I think that’s a great quality that any leader needs to have.
So those are the three principles.
I’ll give you a bonus one and that is, I see other people when they try to be a leader usually don’t work.
When they kind of seek leadership but when they think of and focus on the greater good, when they focus on the greater benefit of a group naturally, they become leaders, organically.
Because a leader if you think about it really lead is a servant to many people, that’s called servant leadership.
It’s not positional, it’s not title based it’s really, hey you know what?
This person always has the best interests of the group in mind, let’s give this person more authority, let’s give this person more decision-making power, let’s follow this person because then we’re going to go to places.
And I think that’s what makes you a good leader, a leader that others respect and others follow.
Does that make sense?