Let me tell you a quick TRUE STORY
A student was on a holiday and decided to do Sky Diving. So he went to a very efficient and well-known instructor, who has helped a few hundreds of people to experience Sky Diving without one single accident.
But destiny had a different plan. Something went wrong, and the parachute didn’t open. While falling to the ground at lightning speed the instructor held the student tightly, and just before hitting the ground, the instructor took a roll in the air, so that the student remains on top. The instructor had hit the ground first and died instantly….but the student landed on top of the instructor’s body and was finally saved, of course, post some inevitable injuries. The instructor died but ensured that his student, who had “trusted” him to be the best instructor around, survives.
Now, my question is that where do people like these instructors come from? Why don’t they hesitate to sacrifice their own life to save someone else?? What gives them this unimaginable strength to sacrifice for others?
The answer is that they don’t come from any other planet ….. they are True Leaders. Yes, many of us believe that Leaders are only born ……. but trust me friends, leaders can be made as much as they are born. Their belief system……..their acts…..and their ability to increase the circle of safety to the outermost boundaries of the organization, make them Leaders.
Please Note carefully that Leadership is NOT A POSITION OR DESIGNATION. It’s a Thought. It’s an intent.
For example: If you are ready to take care of the people around you without them asking you to do so, or try to make them safe to the extent you can, or act in a way that they trust you …… then YOU are a Leader. The instructor never wanted his student to die, because the student trusted him to be the best …. so he sacrificed his life to ensure that the student remains safe. The story teaches us that, If things are smooth then YOU step back and put the Team forward and allow them to take the limelight …..but if things go wrong ( and things mostly do go wrong) then YOU take the responsibility to safeguard the Team. Not sacrifice them. Now, that’s Leadership as I understand.
The unfortunate part is that…forget sacrificing life and all that, most of the people in today’s corporate world or almost everywhere, are not even ready to give due credit to the people around or below them. People lie to take the credit away ….or…..present stolen ideas as their own to impress management.
That’s why people think that Leaders are only born …..but that’s only a part of the entire story. Leadership is a skill and like many other skills, it can be developed amongst people who don’t have the skill or have less of it in him/ her. Yes, it’s a fact that one’s upbringing, education, family background etc are quite responsible as well, because without these in place, one cannot have a Leadership mindset. But if you see, all these are steps, which are conscious decisions and behaviours of the people around the child, who’s growing up. So, it’s not “inborn” stuff …….its a part of a process.
If we follow the process and the steps involved, in different phases of life, in different ways…..then we can make Leaders out of normal human beings, because as I said ….its never a Position or a Designation…its a thought, and that thought process can be developed.
As Leaders, if we can make our team feel safe, then they will be ready to Trust Us, and therefore will be ready to turn their back to us, because they know that they won’t be attacked from behind. That’s when the Team will go out and take risks in the marketplace to grow the Business. That’s when the team will try out innovative ideas and once or twice will come out with pathbreaking stuff. That’s when they would like to WIN the trophy not only for the prize money but would like to WIN FOR YOU, THE COACH OR THE MENTOR.
That’s Leadership. And believe me, IT’S DAMN DIFFICULT.
This is such an important part of the Sales Performance Strategy that we must understand Leadership, inside-out, to be the best that we can be, and reach positions from where we can Lead the organization. I will be back with more insights soon. Till then …
Good Bye !!!
Have a great week ahead.