Shaping Responsible Leaders of Tomorrow: Leadership Gives You Tremendous Power & Responsibility - It’s Not Just a Designation

The Covid-19 pandemic has wrecked havoc to entire humanity. Not only has it claimed several innocent lives, but it has also left millions of people jobless pushing many to the brink of unsustainability.

While all of these things are happening, many of you must be blessed with a stable income source, mostly enjoying the comfort of the cushion on your back discussing with stakeholders about how to grow your topline.

At the same time, there are still so many people who are actively in pursuit to ascend the ladder of humanity coming up with great initiatives to combat the pandemic and help out other folks in need to do some good deed.

In addition to the burgeoning crisis, the whole world has been left saddened by the untimely departure of Sushant Singh Rajput (one of the leading actors of Bollywood) who had been subject to nepotism in the film industry as media resources revealed.

This is not uncommon in other sectors as well, where apart from a few humble people, everybody is in their best interest trying to judge you and pull you down. It’s important to realize how as human beings, you could better learn the art of co-habitation irrespective of the profession you’re in or the designation you hold.

Why This is So Important Especially in COVID-19 Situation?

I have seen some of the most “bossy” bosses, while also have worked with leaders I can look up to. This distinction is important and more especially during these times when the world is suffocating within the fist of a severe pandemic.

I have heard folks being relieved of their duties without a clear justifiable reason. While it might be all understandable from the business perspective, it is worthwhile to consider a humanitarian aspect as well.

Before relieving an employee from his or her duties, it is of utmost importance as a compassionate and ethical person commanding responsibility and putting the badge of a leader on your shoulder, to bid a proper good bye and check how they might be doing. Shed off your false pride and air of attitude and maybe extend a helping hand!!!

You are not that busy!! C’mon, you know it well..

What might just mean a strategic planning to cover up for your inefficiencies might be the whole source of motivation for someone who could be the bread winner of his or her family earning one-tenth of what you draw.

And like many other accolades you would have gathered, you now have also got success in crushing someone’s confidence, belief and faith at the start of their career just by your callous attitude and sheer negligence.

How I Tried to Do My Part

Just to give you a quick background, I do not carry a powerful badge nor a shining paycheck balance – at least not enough to decide the fortune or capabilities of someone else.

Lot of times, earning a skill does not mean what degree you have nor what your position is in a company. Your environment makes you the best judge to pick up signals about the impression and vibe you cast on others.

I have come across situations where I know individuals compelled to come to office in adverse health conditions. I know of individuals who feel scared to lose their job while “so called leadership” taking advantage of that. It’s not uncommon to find individuals shedding off responsibilities setting unrealistic false expectations just having the privilege to judge you.

No matter what, I have tried to make sure to extend a helping hand to all those I know at least who are going through tough times.

1. I have dialled up people after knowing they have been released with no prior notice clueless about reasons and grounds of their termination. I have made sure I take away some bit of their anxiety and despair.

2. I have given feedback to the people I had worked with even though leadership gave them feedback that have left them hurt and clueless because they were never aware of such feedback in any of the earlier feedback meetings.

3. I have made sure to make a personal connect with those who are going through hard times and trying to help them out in any way I can.

Are You a Leader or Just Bossing Around?

There are many of you who are holding responsible positions in large corporates, certainly more skilled in some way or the other to have reached a position that makes you take control of other’s life (or may be that’s the way lot of people think). While I have had the opportunity to see and work with a few “leaders”, I have had my fair chance of working with “bosses” too. Ah! And, then I can clearly see what’s the difference and how impactful that is.

Below is a list of few differences in attitudes and perceptions between a boss and a Leader. Check out which features mostly describe you.

Who’s A Boss?

• An individual bundled with a false sense of pride, ego and attitude.

• Not committed in the best interest of the team but comitted to his/her own best interest and only that of the company.

• Goal oriented but without comfortable to avoid having the view of sequences leading up to an event – Basically who only knows to apply RCA (Root Cause Analysis) to business situations and not employee relationships.

• Does not have basic management skills but suffers from lack of sight because the designation on paper leaves them blind and makes them think it’s time for others to follow.

• Feels overwhelmed with handling the responsibility of controlling business decisions – but mostly does not know the right approach to using this power and responsibility to create a positive impact.

Who’s a Leader?

• A Leader is one who if humble, approachable while at the same time professional in approach.

• Does not suffer from myopic vision and invests in the best interest of the team he/she is leading.

• Tries to bring out the best from his people and lends a helping hand to back them up in every possible way if and whe required.

• Refrains from politics and blame game.

• One who everyone looks up to and finds positive aspects to learn.

• An individual who takes a holistic approach to decision making and is flexible.

• Hears out every individual and does not believe in a one-sided conversation.

• A leader has the charm to attract followers

While there are many broader differences, these are some of them which can help you identify which group you belong to.

Key Message

Leadership is a complex role yet based on simple values. Learn to leave a positive impact and not eyewash people you surround. People see, people do. Copycat marketing is prevalent in almost every aspect of our lives in some way or the other. It is therefore especially important for our leaders today to set examples for our future leaders in order to build a strong leadership fraternity.

What’s unfortunate is leadership is often taken casually and loosely and taken for granted – it is important to self-reflect on the fact that you don’t become a leader if you have a bunch of people reporting to you. Like in the Bournville advertisement, you need to earn it..

Irrespective of your educational background caste, gender, skin color, family or political influences and the size of your paycheck, in this times of hardship, what’s most critical is to pull up your sleeves and try to be a better version of yourself. Try to be human enough to show compassion towards others and even if you have been pushed to take a decision that might have been unfavourable to someone, have the basic courtsey to bid a proper good bye to the many folks who would have toiled day and night putting in lot of effort not only managing deliverables and driving value for clients but also to put up with your inefficiencies.

It is not the time to give your feedback to employees on their attitudes and performance. You have your entire life to give feedback. At least take out some time to write and share a “THANK YOU” note to those employees who believed in you that you will save their back in adverse situations.

P.S : The purpose of this article is in good faith for people to press the pause button and reflect upon themselves for a moment. This is for all leaders I have met or not. Just a shout out to all of you who are doing a fabulous job and making your life count. To all those, who might have somewhere been distracted, this might serve to be a good place to rekindle the latent leadership capabilities you have within. For the rest, the entire space in yours to scroll past this post – there are enough enlightening topics that needs more attention at this moment 

Sayan has a background in Economics. He comes with nearly a decade of industry experience in the field of data science. Follow him on LinkedIn for more updates.