It is noted that Rome was not built in a day and I, continuing on that, add “neither were its leaders.”
One does not become a leader by taking a dip in the holy Ganges or getting a MBA from an expensive college. Leadership does not have a specified price tag and it definitely cannot be defined by driving an expensive car. Leadership is not something you can place in your hands, show to your friends and say, “Here, this is what leadership looks like.” Leadership is a process, a learning experience that takes time.
Why am I talking about leadership? I, surely, am not a perfect leader, but what I do know and hear is people talking a lot about required “change” in U.S. politics, “change” in administration, “change” in the process of teaching, “change” in the college administration and last, but not least, “change” in leadership.
Leonard Roberts, CEO of RadioShack, said, “You cannot maintain your integrity 90 percent and be a leader. It’s got to be 100 percent.” What that means is, you have to stand up for the right thing regardless if your boss disagrees with you. You might lose your job, but your integrity won’t be lost, which is an important part of being a leader.
Being a leader is not all about being a pied piper and shepherding people away with your tune. Leaders fight to make a change happen that benefits the society at large. Leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Sir Winston Churchill and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. weren’t interested in shepherding people away; they were more worried about bigger issues that loomed in the society, such as inequality, freedom and racism. Every person is a leader in some fashion or another and they are in every field and walk of life, but one has to work hard to make a change happen.
The key points in becoming a good leader are: first, learn to listen and communicate; second, show commitment towards the goal and the people; third, develop trust between you and the people; fourth, stand up for the people and make a statement and take care of the people; fifth, put your duty before yourself (ask Armed Forces about that); sixth, be innovative and looking out for better ways to serve the needs of people and last, but not least, know exactly what you are doing.
Leaders must listen, communicate and be patient. Leaders should know their task and their responsibilities and stand up for the right thing. They should be accountable and willing to stand up for their people.
I hope the forthcoming U.S. elections will shine some light on leadership. As for college students, I hope they don’t sit and complain about issues, but rather stand up, roll up their sleeves and help solve the problems that exist by voting in the elections on Nov. 4 and becoming better leaders for tomorrow.
— Sukhi Bedi
OIT Help Desk Specialist