This is what one of my team member asked me. “How long it will take for me to become a leader?” I like to share my view points which i discussed with him.
Leadership is not time-based. It is an art. Leadership qualities needs to be developed and believe me – it can be developed. Leadership is being skillful in a few personal traits. It is behavioral. Leadership is something to deal with correct use of time, energy and others skill to reach the goal. With these traits, you need to shape yourself first into a disciplined(or principled) human with a broad mind and esteemed vision. Then followers will automatically start following your way. Let me give you a simple example – Mahatma Gandhi. Like any other human being, he had the same child & adulthood characteristics. Once he got a vision for India’s freedom movement everyone started following him.
…the stronger you are — the more genuine your character, the higher your level of proactivity, the more committed you really are to win-win — the more powerful your influence will be with that other person – From THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE, Stephen R. Covey
In case of an individual, organization or country, Leadership can exists in any level not limited to higher levels only. In your school days, you could have served as a class leader or school pupil leader. In colleges, we have college union committee and have a student as chairman for that. In houses, we have family head who leads the family. Everyone shows leadership qualities at every levels of life. Leadership first starts at the individual level.
Have you noticed you in a personal crisis situations. What did you do? Though you have many friends, you approached the person whom you think can give some direction. Why did you select him? What made you to approach him? What skills does he possess? Yes, your friend showed some leadership qualities which made you to approach him. This is the simplest form of individual level leadership.
Leadership is not a showcasing activity. You cannot force anyone to follow you to become a leader. Followers recognize you and follow you. Excellent commitment, will power, humility, articulating vision, influential & easily approachable are some of the Leadership traits. There could be times when a person’s leadership abilities were not recognized throughout his life. But some leaders live even after their life.
If you develop, practice and show leadership qualities then surely you can be a Leader soon.