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An Erudite Guide To Be A Leader

Updated: February 5, 2011 1:11 pm

This intriguing work takes an original perspective on leadership, artfully combining elements of Eastern and Western thought. The interweaving of stories into the narrative makes the idea come alive. Erudite and scholarly, this book will make leaders think more deeply about what it is they actually do. In fact, this book opens an enchanting window of options for leaders who are disillusioned with short-term models of leadership. The book, which contains seven chapters, invites us to relearn that in order to change the world you have to change yourself. Leaders have clear intentions. Through intention they mobilise mental energy towards something they really wish to accomplish. The secret of reaching a goal or an intention is to cultivate the law of one-pointed attention. It’s not having followers that define leadership. Cool-headed, farseeing, visionary, courageous—whichever adjectives you choose, leadership is a winning combination of personal traits and the ability to think and act as a leader, a person who directs the activities of others for the good of all. Anyone can be a leader, even if the only person they’re leading is themselves. But you can’t become a leader just by saying you are. In one chapter, the book emphasises, “Leaders recognise that it is neither information nor physical energy that gives real power. Power comes from undivided and one-pointed attention.” In this backdrop, leadership needs to be worked at. Transform yourself into a leader with key features of leadership. The core of leadership is being proactive rather than reactive. Sure, leaders are good in crises—but that doesn’t mean they sit around letting crises develop. Leadership involves identifying potential problems and solving them before they reach crisis proportions—and the ability to identify and reap potential windfalls. So good leaders analyse and plan and adapt their plans to new circumstances and opportunities. Vision is essential to good leadership. Vision provides direction and without direction, there’s not much point to all that planning; your small business will still flail about. So if you don’t have one already, take your first step towards leadership by creating a vision statement for your business. Because it embodies your dreams and your passions, a vision statement will also serve as a leadership vision.

                In leadership, action is spontaneous and effort is effortless. There seems to be a tremendous effort involved in what they do, yet they appear to achieve great feats effortlessly. In another chapter, the book highlights when leaders integrate they create critical connections. They bring about a coalition of wills, not just a coordination of resources. In this backdrop, sharing your leadership vision helps your vision grow and your leadership develop. As you tell your leadership vision to others, you will strengthen your own belief in your vision and strengthen your determination to make your leadership vision become reality. And other people will start to see you as a person who’s “going places”. Your leadership skills will grow as you and other people recognise you as a person with leadership potential. At this stage of leadership, you put together your planning and your leadership vision and take action. Whether it’s implementing a specific plan to improve your business or responding to a crisis, you, as the leader, are the one who makes the decisions and sees that the appropriate actions are carried out. You can’t just “talk a good game” to be a leader; you need to act and to be seen as taking effective action for the good of your business.

By Ashok Kumar

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