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Leadership: Tips to Become a Leader

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A.P.J. Abdul Kalam while delivering one of his lectures in Shillong, urged the students by saying this "I want to see all of you as creative leaders to bring about the required change" This says the need of good leaders, managers that the country and world needs these days.

Be it a large multinational organisation looking to expand globally or a domestic firm with ambitions to acheive more, one of the most critical pillars are the leaders, managers in those organisations. Hence it becomes utmost important that we train our youths to be a leader, a manager.

But by saying this today people have forgotten that why is it important to be a leader than a manager who is not inspiring and productive. It is important to guide the youth by telling them characteristics of a leader, who can be the best manager.

In this effort CareerIndia has come out with and exclusive interview with Freyaz Shroff who has started her own business called KurNiv Success Solutions, focusing on Strategic Consulting, Success Coaching and Empowering Individuals through allowing them to focus on the best that resides within them.  

CareerIndia with Freyaz Shroff has come out with an interaction which will enable readers to inspire themselves and other by becoming true leaders

Leadership: Qualities of a True Leader

1. Who is a leader?

Leaders live life deliberately rather than by default; it is this defining trait which sets them apart from others. This essentially means that leaders have a singular and overarching vision which paints all their actions with the same purpose.

Leaders need not have followers. They just need to be people who have a vision and are able to inspire those around them to also live life with vision and meaning.

2. What are the traits one should possess to be a leader?

Heart/emotion and logic/reasoning
Practicality/theory and intuitive understanding/experience
Confidence in their abilities and humble awareness of the areas wherein improvement is required.
Knowing when to take charge of a situation and when to allow the situation to unfold naturally.

Further, leaders live in only one moment at all times: the present moment. There is a deep meaning behind this statement. Yes, leaders will learn from their past. Yes, leaders will work relentlessly towards their vision. But they are doing this entirely within the framework of the present moment. They never take the present moment for granted; it is grabbed with both hands as an opportunity to grow.

It is with this awareness that they carry out their actions, absorbing themselves entirely into the action and leaving any thought of failure or doubt completely by the wayside.

3. "Commitment and Managing responsibility" is the only motto of a leader? If not, what are other the criteria one should have beyond managing the assigned task?

Leadership is not a title that can be handed over to someone - it is a process of evolution and learning.

Other mottos that come to mind include,

"Not all Leaders have followers"
"All leaders must know how to be followers"
"Leadership is about empowering a vision"
"Leaders own only themselves"

Leaders are deeply concerned with creating meaningful change that leads to growth; on a personal, professional and societal level. Managing a task is one thing, but ensuring that task is completed in the best manner, and that it will help or add value to the world at large is entirely another. A leader has to contribute to good change, to good growth, and not just excellent performance of a task.

4. Can a good leader always be a successful leader?

Define success! What is seemingly a failure to you may be counted in the list of successes for another. The irony is that a good leader is in no way concerned with success in any case; instead they are concerned with excellence. It's a beautiful perspective in which to act, isn't it?

There exist many external factors, which can change the course of any situation regardless of how clever you are or how stringent your planning is. We could cite countless examples of the same: brilliant product ideas that didn't take off because they were ahead of their time, the unpredictable behavior of humans that you deal with, natural calamities, etc. It could just be that the odds are stacked against you in a big way, making success a long and arduous journey away.

What matters more is the consistency of a leader. A good leader is always consistent in their moral belief system, they have strong principles that they abide by and don't let a situation allow them to change the course of their chosen path; their vision will always remain constant.

5. How do you define manager and leader? Is there any difference?

Anyone who has a vision, takes steps to make that vision come to life and can inspire others to have a vision of their own is a leader. A janitor can have a vision to have the cleanest floor in the hospital and work diligently each day to make sure the floor is sanitized, smelling fresh and without the imprint of shoes for more than a few seconds a day.

This is a clear vision. If he follows through on this day in and day out with a smile on his face, passionately choosing the fragrance for the floor and the right sanitizer and in doing so is able to inspire the nurses, doctors, and clerks of the hospital to do their jobs just as passionately, he is a leader. He has led people into seeing the best that resides within them.

And as these people see their own potential and bring it forth into the world this janitor has led not only the hospital, but also the society one step closer to positive change. Leaders do this...They inspire!

So if a manager is inspiring vision and productive action then he/she is a leader, if not then he/she is just occupying a position.

6. What are the major drawbacks that affect a leader and how he/she can overcome them?

Not all people understand true passion, so be prepared for people to doubt you and your intentions

As a person grows within their field of passion, it's important for them to remember that few things are more frustrating than great talent being obscured by the arrogant whims of ego.

Keep the focus on the vision and your journey. At the end of the day, the experiences (laughter, sweat, hard work, shared memories) are what should be truly cherished.

For leaders with followers, remember to acknowledge and be grateful for your team at every moment. Gratitude has been shown to have an energy and momentum that propels multiple visions productively forward at the same time.

7. Your tips for leaders?

Don't be afraid to share your vision. Everyone loves being involved in something good, in something purposeful that goes beyond themselves. When you share your vision, you may come across other likeminded people, who are eager to help and be a part of your journey.

Don't compare yourself to anyone. Don't allow your self-worth to be affected by anyone else. You become invincible and strong when your self-worth is entirely under your control.

Stay true to yourself.

Be unshakeable in your conviction.

About Freyaz Shroff:

Born and raised in Mumbai, India Freyaz moved to America, with her family, just a couple of months shy of her 13th birthday.  She graduated from High School with honors and was voted Student of the Year for her district.  With a Bachelors of Sociology and M.B.A.

Freyaz steadily progressed in Corporate America spanning across the finance, marketing, operations and strategy sectors. She has served as a board member for a Leadership Program focused on Working Professionals and as a Board Member for the city's Chamber of Commerce.  She has also earned esteemed awards such as Manager of the Year in 2002.

In 2006 Freyaz moved back to Mumbai, India where she started her own business called KurNiv Success Solutions, focusing on Strategic Consulting, Success Coaching and Empowering Individuals through allowing them to focus on the best that resides within them. 

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