Saturday, November 14, 2009

What do you do after you 'Decide to Lead'

'Decide to Lead' - A much acclaimed quote these days. As mentioned in my earlier post on 'Everyone can be a Leader', the willingness to lead is the critical primer required to start the journey.

Are you sure you have decided?

Just tick this checklist to make sure you are up to it:

1. You know that it is risky and are ready to take risks.
2. The thought of leading comes to you naturally and you are not being forced into it.
3. You are sure of the intent. Whatever your goals are, be sure that they will give you happiness on their fulfilment.
4. You know that you cannot do it alone, and have created space for your team/support system to fit in.
5. The ultimate objective is to benefit the others also, not only yourself.

So, if you have ticked the above, you are ready to lead. Here is the check list (seems so easy, but isn't) for the next crucial phase, i.e., what do you do after you decide to lead? Here are 10 points that should give you an idea of the challenge that lies ahead: -

1. Master the Basics. Honesty, truthfulness, sincerity, character, competence, are things we all know since school days, but fail to implement in our daily lives. The best part is that they are for free!

2. Align yourself to your cause. Know your natural compass and the direction it points towards. Find something that you would like to achieve in that direction.

3. Do a system scan(introspect) to identify any errors/viruses. Make a plan to deal with the report(find a solution that suits you, ranging from meditation to medication).

4. Have a mentor/coach/guide or even a confidante handy for the journey. It may be your best friend, your school-teacher whom you have been in touch, your wife or even your ex-boss.

5. Build your team. Many leaders think that their inspiration alone will work to get them their teams and followers. Nothing could be further from the truth. You have to hunt, select, motivate, engage and improve this bunch of players who are going to make it happen for you.

6. Take your team along. Light their torch as well. Nothing can be more frustrating for the people who are with you, to find that you are not with them.

7. Start managing your leadership(I need a separate post to explain this. Let me know if you want me to).

8. Maintain your balance between health, career, family and friends. This is so important, not only as a support but also as a back-up, should things not work out as planned. At least you would have other things to keep you engaged and happy.

9. Create milestones. Look around, milestones are happening everyday - seasons are changing, children are growing bigger, promotions are happening, technology is changing the world, its just that we do not take notice. Start now and record these.

10.Pause every now and then and relish where you have reached.

There may be more things on the 'to do' list that I may have missed out, please go ahead and contribute.

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