What it takes to be a leader…

“A young, newly appointed company executive was told by his seniors that although he had a great business reputation, he should now concentrate on his Leadership skills.

He read all he could from Covey and Robbins, attended workshops and seminars but he couldn’t quite grasp it. He decided to seek out a reputable Guru in an Ashram in India.

During his brief audience he explained his problem, and by way of advice the Guru told him to return to him only when he had a true follower, not someone paid to be with him. 

Again he began to work on it, and still it eluded him.  Throughout this time he’d settled into married life and had fathered a little girl, now four years olguru_nanakd. He decided it was time to return to his old Guru.

When he arrived he began to tell the sage that he had tried so hard to become a good leader, the old man looked at him in surprise.     He asked “Did you bring a true follower?”
The execs reply was, ” I’m not sure… this is my daughter and she follows me everywhere.”
The Guru asks “Why does she follow you everywhere?”  The exec replies “I guess because she loves me”  The Guru then says “Why does she love you?”  The exec replies ” I guess because I love her.”  And the Guru says ” My dear man, there is nothing more I can teach you about Leadership.” 

Author unknown…

I came across this today, and whilst it is easy to dismiss it as corny, I think it contains a nugget at its heart.  Too many people in leadership positions are just bosses rather than leaders.  Too many leaders think that everyone else is there to support and serve them.  If you want people to follow you then you have to give them a reason to trust you and there is no better reason than knowing that you have their best interests (truly) at heart.

This kind of thing has to come from who you are, and is an expression of what is important to you.  Like they say, you can’t fake sincerity…

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