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Leadership Qualities – Part 2

  • We live in a time of paradox, contradiction, opportunity, and above all change. To the fearful, change is threatening because they worry that things may get worse. To the hopeful, change is encouraging because they feel things may get better. To those who have confidence in themselves, change is a stimulus because they believe one person can make a difference and influence what goes on around them. These people are the doers and the motivators.
  • No matter who you are – the CEO of a big company or independent business person, a marketing representative or a purchasing agent, homemaker or engineer – there are exciting possibilities ahead. If you are willing to assume responsibility and accountability and are motivated to enhance your own capabilities and performance, there is no limit to what you can do.
  • In spite of all the trouble, there is plenty to be optimistic about. The key is never to lose sight of the fact that each of us can make a difference and affect the quality of our lives and of those around us.

Mediocrity

  • In order to be successful, you need to demand excellence of yourself, and not tolerate much less from others. Some feel that in the real world, excellence is something you read about and maybe talk about. It does not creep into very many real life situations, though. However, this point of view gets you into a lot of trouble and it is obviously hard to shake off.
  • For many years, you maybe floating listlessly in a sea of mediocrity. You may have become soft and bloated. Mediocrity is an enemy that must not be ignored. A manifestation of complacency and lethargy, it has been around so long that too many of you may have got used to it. Some of the younger people have lived with it all their lives. Every part of the society suffers and begins to break down. Right and wrong become blurred, along with the moral standards and attitudes at home and in the workplace. Even though small is beautiful and less is more – you settle for less quantity, less service, less courtesy, less thoughtfulness. The pursuit of excellence is considered as an insensitive pursuit.
  • All the bad times are not caused by outsiders who want to undo you. Some of the greatest problems are self-inflicted. You forget who you are, you seem to lose belief in yourself, your power to shape and control events – your magic.
  • If you neglect your work, people who are more industrious than you, more ingenious than you will move into the market with products that are often superior to yours and less expensive.
  • You may have short term sights while others may have researched, planned and invested. You have lost your high expectations and your commitment to success. You may need to nurture the conditions necessary to evoke superior performance and motivate your workforce to strive for excellence and productivity. You need to resolve to produce the best.
  • It becomes difficult to be sympathetic to people who become smug, soft and even lazy. Too many people who are paid to manage companies or departments in companies become involved in personal struggles to the detriment of those who rely on them. Unfortunately it is like building secure cabins on sinking ships.
  • Sometimes it appears that overly cautious and unimaginative management and leaders are the causes of less than vibrant business environment. They fail to encourage creativity or motivate people to perform more productively. Often, the workers also contribute to the mediocrity.
  • Sometimes, the goal is more pay and less work. This results in lowered quality of products and services and increased prices.
  • You must begin to listen. You must recognize change as a great opportunity and be motivated to take advantage of it. Recognize the frightening cost of weak or misguided leadership and unmotivated work force.
  • One of the smart methods here is to seek out, embrace, and nurture the innovators, the corporate entrepreneurs and the high-level producers. It means a major shift in attitude. These “wild ducks” or people who do not fit the company’s mould, who are perceived as unpredictable and more difficult to supervise may be lost and along with that are lost the stimulation and ideas they usually bring to every discussion and situation. These people should become a sought-after prize.

Motivation

  • Our problem is not the lack of opportunities for the really motivated, but the lack of motivated people ready and able to take advantage of the opportunities. There is no shortage of people who have intelligence and ability for success – even spectacular success – but few of them perform at the superior level. There has been too little healthy pressure put on most people to get them to stretch for their potential. There has been pressure, but all the wrong kind. You might be worrying about protecting your turf and your position than about getting the best out of your people or yourself.
  • It is tough to be up and motivated in poorly managed companies. It is unfortunate that so many potentially superior performers have their enthusiasm and desire squeezed out of them by unmotivated supervisors, inept managers, and uninvolved executives. It is a great loss when good people hang on to unrewarding jobs as though they love them, scared to death that they will end up out of work. Before long, they become disillusioned and take on ways of those who had no ambition to start with. While it is the company’s responsibility to do everything it can to provide the very best working environment for its employees, no one impacts the environment as much as the people in it.

The pressure to perform

  • For all of us, at times, the pressure to perform is tremendous. It does not matter what your occupation is or how successful you may be; you feel the strain – the strain of competition and expectations. You feel it in all the all the roles you play and in your relationships. You may worry about earning a living, being an effective parent, your marriage, being a caring friend. While others cause a lot of grief, most of the burden we carry to work is self-inflicted: created out of fears, misperceptions, and low self-esteem.
  • No matter how intense the pressure, no matter what the situation, you have to roll out of bed every morning and you have to perform. Like it or not, the quality of that performance depends on you. You may think you are doing a pretty good job, especially considering the circumstances, but you can do a whole lot better. Mediocrity will only get in the way.
  • Everyone is performing – whether you put on a smile or a scowl. You may be trying to influence the behaviour of someone else, trying to influence your child, your boss or your wife. You are performing whether you are conscious of it or not. Therefore the better you do it, the best for you and the more successful and effective you are going to be.
  • For some people, the idea of performing for the purpose of influencing someone else evokes a negative connotation. It should not. There is certainly nothing wrong with trying to get your way as long as it is not deviously manipulative and does not take unfair advantage of someone else. Some of the factors for the success are:
  1. you need to be on good terms with yourself
  2. you must be motivated – a self-starter
  3. you must know what you want to accomplish
  4. you must have the necessary tools and information to achieve your goal
  5. you must have the skills to deliver the material or make your case in the most influential way possible
  6. the people for whom you are performing must be interested and should somehow benefit or derive pleasure from it
  7. you must be sensitive and responsive to those people
  8. you must be fine-tuned to pick up others’ reactions to you, not only during your performance but after it.
  • All these along with poise, self-confidence and integrity are imperative to a superior performance. It would assure you of being a decent performer, maybe a good one, but it takes even more to make the performer great.
  • Great performances are filled with intense, concentrated energy. It exudes passion, caring, enthusiasm and joy. It is an energy that is captivating, hypnotizing and contagious. You do not need a stage or a stadium to accomplish that. It can happen any time that you are trying to deal with people – influence them, motivate them, incite them, change them and inspire them.
  • Great performances can then bring other rewards – career enhancement, money and what it buys, respect and recognition from others as well as yourself. It is worth the effort.

Dr. Darshan Shah

Dr. Darshan Shah, a renowned psychiatrist and psychotherapist, is committed to make a difference in the area of mental health and help individuals cope with feelings and symptoms; change behavior patterns that may contribute to one’s illness and henceforth contribute to their newly improved pathway of life.

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