Leadership is defined differently by different people depending on different scenarios. To some, leadership is having top positions in work places while others relate leadership to politics. Fact is, leadership is wide and applies to almost everywhere in our daily lives. Some of us associate leadership with top management. While they may be highly skilled and good at their jobs, that doesn’t make them leaders. During a session at Emerging Leaders Foundation on leadership, the speaker defined effective leadership as transformational. Such leadership creates visions, inspires people and helps a team to effectively achieve that vision. Effective leaders create a picture of their visions in ways that everyone can understand. After a successful mentorship program at ELF and interacting with different leaders there, I can confidently call my self a leader.
- I’m more proactive than before
I have learnt to take responsibility of everything happening in my life. Every responsible leader must take time to plan and put measures on how their team works to prevent problems from happening. This means identifying all areas of risk and implementing measures that will prevent or reduce the impact of problems. Being proactive means planning accordingly. In return, it increases productivity and creates a cheerful work environment.
- I prioritize
As a leader, I must put first things first. Things that matter the most should never be at the mercy of things that matter. Leaders must be guided by principles. This will help in organizing and executing the most important priorities and not just be guided by the organization’s agendas.
- I have a mission and vision in life
We all have goals of what we would like to achieve in future. When we were young there’s who we wanted to be when we grow up. Are we where we’ve always wanted to be? If not, what happened? Could it be that our steps took us to the wrong places? Most likely yes. That was me before I partook in the mentorship program. I did everything blindly including starting businesses that couldn’t last two weeks. Having a mission and vision means having a clear image on the direction you want to take.
- I think win – win
This is a habit of mutual benefit. It means working with others to achieve the desired results. Win-win constantly seeks for mutual benefit in every engagement. However, most of us base our win on competitions (win-lose). This means if I get a bigger share of something you get less and vice versa. If I win you lose and if I lose you win and if it’s not a win for us, we both lose. Have we thought of us all winning? As leaders we must embrace a win-win habit. Win-win leaders are emphatic, considerate, brave and sensitive.
- I seek first to understand then to be understood
How may times do we listen to reply than we listen to understand? If you all can agree, it happens almost all the time. By doing so we end up missing important aspects. Effective communication is very essential in life. Therefore, as leaders we should seek to understand first before we share feedback.
“Synergy is better than my way, our way” Dr. Stephen R. Covey. This is a combination teamwork, cooperation and open-mindedness as a way of finding solutions to problems. It is working together to achieve the set goals. Combined effort is greater than individual effort. To achieve this kind of leadership as modern and effective leaders, we should work together in mutually enhancing ways to accomplish both organizational and personal goals.
- I continuously renew myself both professionally and personally
This habit is commonly referred to as sharpening the saw. Do you sharpen your saw? How do you balance between work and your personal life? A friend once shared on how they collapsed due to work burn out. Constantly seek to renew physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally.
As I wind up, just remember that everyday is a new opportunity to make a change. The 7 habits listed above are from my own experience and can have a long-lasting impact on both personal and interpersonal growth.
Shalom Musyoka, Cohort 8.